PV Sindhu vs Saina Nehwal: Who is the queen of Indian badminton?
Indian badminton in the past two years has seen many memorable moments. But the past 10 days will be a phase that every follower of the sport will remember for a very long time.
Heading into the Olympics, a lot was spoken about how this was to be Saina Nehwal’s moment of glory. and how she was going to change the colour of the medal that she won in London in 2012. But instead, newer heroes emerged out of the shadow of Saina, with PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth showing the world that India was no longer a ‘one player badminton nation’. Sindhu in particular made a lot of news by clinching the silver medal, much to the delight of every Indian who was glued to the television.
Comparing between the two Indian female stars, who have achieved quite a bit in their careers at a fairly young age, can be very difficult. But the comparison is inevitable, even if it means trying to arrive at a conclusion far earlier than warranted. Every casual fan invariably asks whether Sindhu is better than Saina, so that’s what we are trying to address here.
Note: Only the three top badminton events – the World Championships, the Olympics and the All England Open – have been taken into consideration for the purpose of this discussion.
Prior to the Rio Olympics, inconsistency was a word that most associated with Sindhu.T here was never any doubt over her ability to play on the senior stage and challenge the best, but what she couldn’t do more regularly was beating the players at or below her level.
But during the course of this week, the Indian has shown that in the time away from the game she has been working very hard to ensure that she adds that quality to her game. Her newfound consistency was there for everyone to see when she beat everyone ranked below her and also three top 10 players back-to-back to reach the final, where she eventually won silver.
However, the Olympic medal is just another feather to an already very impressive CV. Like at the Olympics, the 21-year-old sparkled in the World Championships as well in 2013, winning the bronze medal. In the process she emulated Prakash Padukone as the only other Indian to win a singles medal at the event at the time. A year later, she repeated the feat in Copenhagen.
It is, however, at the All England Championships where Sindhu has some work to do. Her best performance is reaching the second round and this is one tournament where she will look to put in a much-improved performance in the years to come.
Sindhu in a nutshell
International debut: 2012
Silver medalist at 2016 Rio Olympics
Bronze medalist at the 2013 Guangzhou World Championships and 2014 Copenhagen World Championships.