Interview: PV Sindhu talks about her epic 73-shot rally against Okuhara in World Championships final
PV Sindhu created history on Sunday as she won her first-ever silver medal at the BWF World Championships after a couple of bronze ones in earlier editions. She went down fighting to Japan's Nozomi Okuhara in an epic 110-minute battle that ended 19-21 22-20 20-22 and was hailed as one of the greatest matches in the history of the sport.
The match saw some truly extraordinary badminton, featuring some incredibly long rallies and high-quality shot-making as both shuttlers left nothing behind and gave it their all. The first game was taken by the Japanese star before Sindhu struck back in the second, taking it on her fourth match point opportunity. The final point also featured an incredible 73-shot rally that was won by the Indian and had all kinds of shots one can imagine.
The decider was another humdinger and as both players tired out, the quality of play did not drop even one bit. It went all the way to 20-20 and it was anybody's game from there on. Okuhara held her nerve and took the match, clinching her first-ever gold medal at the World Championships.
Despite the loss, Sindhu's heroics garnered praise from across the country as he won her third medal at the Worlds. Along with her, Saina Nehwal too picked up the bronze, making it the first time that India had two medalists at the event. At just 22 years of age, Sindhu has a bright future ahead of her and if she can continue building upon her excellent performances, she is a sure-shot contender for the World No. 1 spot.
Sportskeeda caught up with her for an exclusive chat after her silver medal. Here are a few excerpts!
How would you sum up your overall campaign and performance at the Worlds?
I am extremely happy with my performance. Even though I was a little disappointed after missing out on the gold, but I feel a silver is a great result as well.
What was going on in your mind during the last few points of the final game, especially at 20-20?
All I was thinking during the match was to play one point at a time and move ahead. I just wanted to stay away from the pressure, block out other thoughts and focus on my game.
What are your thoughts on the overall performance of the Indian contingent? Do two medals justify the overall showing?
All the players have worked extremely hard and have immense talent. The medals are a show of the best performance on a given day. I am sure there are a lot more to come in the future.
What are your thoughts on the epic 73-shot rally at the end of the second game?
It was epic! It is one of the best performances I have given and I'm glad to have come out on top.
From Rio to the Worlds, is there any particular reason you choose to wear yellow for your major finals?
Yellow is my favorite color!
Is there any particular reason behind your incredible success against Chinese shutters at such events? Do you have a specific plan for matches against them?
My objective is to go out and play my best. Of course, there is always a strategy but nothing too specific for the Chinese.
What are your thoughts on becoming Bridgestone India's first brand ambassador?
I am very excited to be the very first brand ambassador for Bridgestone India. They have a strong sports heritage which showcases their commitment to sports and promoting sports globally. Such an organization understands and values struggles of athletes from all backgrounds and supports them to chase their dream.