India Open 2017: PV Sindhu insists the Chinese wall has been broken
What's the story?
Ahead of the India Open Superseries, Rio Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu has insisted that the mighty Chinese wall has well and truly been broken. During a media interaction at a pre-tournament event, the China Open champion pointed out that it is not only the Indians who are performing well but even the Spaniards, Koreans and Malaysian players are very much in the mix now for the top titles.
"If you see the performance of Indian players in recent times, our players are doing much better than the Chinese. Yes, the Chinese were unbeatable in the past but now its not only the Indians, but also Spanish, Malaysian, Japanese and Korean players, who are doing really well, so I think the China Wall has already broken," Sindhu said, as quoted by IANS.
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Sindhu, who is seeded third, is on collision course with the sixth seed and two-time champion Saina Nehwal in the quarter-finals of the India Open that has kicked off today. The 21-year-old is looking to win this tournament for the first time.
The heart of the matter
Sindhu was also asked about the much-anticipated quarter-final showdown with her senior compatriot Nehwal but she has clearly refused to look that far and will be taking one match at a time.
The Hyderabadi shuttler agreed that after her Olympic glory, expectations from fans and responsibilities have increased. However, she doesn’t let that affect her and tries to play her natural game without taking any undue pressure.
The World No. 5 will start her campaign against the recently-crowned All India Senior Ranking Badminton tournament champion Arundhati Pantawane on Wednesday.
The Olympics were the biggest proof of what Sindhu has said. The women's singles podium had a Spanish gold medallist, an Indian silver medallist and a Japanese bronze medallist. This was the first time that any Chinese player failed to make the podium in this category since 1996 and this thoroughly underlines China's decline.
With two of China's famous triumvirate - Wang Yihan and Wang Shixian - having retired and the 2012 gold medallist Li Xuerui still recuperating from a leg injury, China's stranglehold has been loosened and other countries are grabbing this opportunity to make their mark. Their success can only help badminton become an even bigger global sport.