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How PV Sindhu can become World No.1 in May

FEATURED COLUMNIST
News
04 Apr 2017, 20:02 IST
Sindhu’s recent exploits have taken Indian badminton to a new high

What's the story?

After her maiden title at the India Open Superseries last Sunday, Indian shuttle queen PV Sindhu is all set to climb to a career-high World No. 2 ranking when the new BWF Rankings are released on Thursday, April 6.

But if she keeps on performing the way as confidently as she has been in recent times, even the prized No.1 ranking is not out of reach for the 21-year-old and the earliest she can reach the pinnacle is in May.

That will indeed be a proud moment for Indian badminton if Sindhu can walk in the footsteps of her compatriot Saina Nehwal, who scaled the summit in 2015 after her own India Open success.

In case you didn't know...

Sindhu avenged her Rio Olympic final defeat to the former World No. 1 Carolina Marin en route to her India Open glory. She is now on a 10-match winning streak at home after clinching the Syed Modi International earlier in January.

The heart of the matter

April being a packed month in the BWF calendar, the opportunities are plenty for the Rio Olympic silver medallist. The Malaysia Open Superseries Premier, the Singapore Open Superseries are scheduled back-to-back from April 4-9 and April 11-16 respectively. The Badminton Asia Championships will follow next from April 25-30.

Sindhu has entered all these three tournaments and if she can show the kind of consistency she has been producing of late, the pinnacle will be in her grasp soon. 

With the 9200 points that she earned from the India Open, her points tally will be 75759 after making the necessary adjustments for the 52-week points system. That will keep her 12152 points adrift of the World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying, who will have 87911.

Sindhu, who lost in the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Open and the second round of the Singapore Open in 2016, needs to better those performances. A semi-final, runner-up finish or winning the title at the Malaysia Open can award her ranking points as high as 7700, 9350 or 11000 respectively.

At the Singapore Open, the maximum she can get is 9200. The Badminton Asia Championships too has been upgraded to a Superseries level event from 2015 so, there too she will have the same opportunity for racking up points. 

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That said, at the same time, Sindhu has to hope that the World No. 1 Tai doesn't fare well in all these. The Chinese Taipei shuttler, meanwhile, reached the final of the Malaysia Open last year but was bundled out in the first round of the Singapore Open.

Which is why the pressure is more on her at the Malaysia Open this week where she is defending 9350 points whereas the Indian is defending just 6050 points. Interestingly, the two are slated to meet in the quarter-finals the outcome of which can be a clearer indicator as to how the ranking scenario will pan out in the next few weeks.

What's next?

The sixth-seeded Sindhu starts her campaign at the Malaysia Open on Wednesday, April 5 against the World No. 13 Chen Yufei of China.

Author's take

Sindhu’s recent exploits have taken Indian badminton to a new high. She is definitely a deserving candidate for the coveted numero uno position and it will also be a fitting reward for the sport’s fraternity in the country considering how far it has progressed in the past few years.

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