Interview with PC Thulasi: "I have to raise my game to beat top players"
Even as the focus of Indian women’s badminton is largely riveted on Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, there is one talented young woman shuttler, who has quietly climbed into the top 50. PC Thulasi – the 23-year-old shuttler from Kerala – ranked 43 in the world – is now looking to raise her performance bar in the upcoming US Open Grand Prix Gold and Canadian Open Grand Prix events, slated to be held next month. Thulasi, who is employed with ONGC as a HR professional, spoke about her game and much more in an exclusive interview.
Q You are gearing up for the upcoming US Open and Canadian Open tournaments. How are the preparations going on?
Well, I’m working hard and hope to fare well in both these events. US Open is a Grand Prix Gold event, while the Canadian Open is a Grand Prix event – both these tourneys attach a lot of significance and hence performing well in these events can help me to move up in the world rankings.
Q Saina Nehwal is world number one while PV Sindhu is world number ten. You are the third highest ranked women singles player at 43. How do you intend to take your game forward?
Look, Saina has been phenomenal for Indian badminton over the last few years, while Sindhu is doing exceedingly well on the international stage. For now, I believe I have the game to beat players ranked in the top-50 but honestly feel that I need to work hard before I can start beating shuttlers in the world top-30.
Q Ranking-wise where do you want to be by the end of 2015?
I’m ready for the long haul. I’m taking one step at a time and wish to break into the top-30 by the end of this year. Nothing will happen overnight as I need to keep up my hard work going and results will take care of itself.
Q The 2015 World Badminton Championships will be held in August this year. How do you assess your participation hopes?
I don’t think I will be playing in the 2015 World Badminton Championships as my current ranking won’t be enough to seal a berth in the big-ticket event.
Q You are primarily a player who likes to engage in long rallies. What are the improvement areas you need to focus on?
I like to play long rallies and wear down by opponent. I need to bring more power in finishing points, as it will help me to stay competitive on the court.
Q What impact has the Indian Badminton League had on Indian badminton?
I think badminton has really become more popular in last few years and the IBL has really helped. I believe badminton is the second most popular sport in India after cricket.
Q Every shuttler harbours a dream – what is that one thing you would like to achieve on the court?
I wish to win an Olympic medal. I don’t know whether it will be at the 2016 Rio Olympics or at the 2020 Olympics, an Olympic medal is one thing I really want to win for the country.
Q You are known to be a great movie-lover – what kind of movies you watch?
I like to watch movies whenever I get free time from badminton tourneys and training sessions. I watch a lot of Malayalam films and Mohanlal is my favorite Malayalam actor.