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Singapore done… Sindhu braces for Commonwealth gold

 

A ‘relieved’ P V Sindhu hopes to continue her rich vein of form in upcoming events, including the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, after winning the Singapore Open on Sunday.

The Indian badminton star stayed strong in key moments during the final to prevail over 22-year-old Wang Zhi Yi, the reigning Asian Championships gold medallist, 21-9, 11-21, 21-15 and win her third title of the season.

“In the last couple of tournaments there were hard-fought matches, and losing in the quarter-finals and semi-finals was a bit upsetting, but each match mattered and finally I could get this,” Sindhu told reporters after reigning in Singapore.

“I am very happy because after a long time coming here to Singapore and winning… this means a lot to me.

“I have finally crossed that level. I have got the win now and I hope the same tempo continues for the rest of the tournaments and I do well in the upcoming event.”

Living out of a suitcase is the norm for international athletes and Sindhu admitted there is no time to celebrate as she shifts focus on the Commonwealth Games, starting July 28.

“I just have a week after that; again we leave for the Commonwealth Games. Maybe I can take a day off, and spend time with my family.

“It has been a long tour for me; there was Indonesia, Malaysia for two weeks, and now Singapore. So it is time to go back home and just relax for a bit and then get back to training, but definitely I am going to enjoy this win; it means a lot,” she said.

Asked if the Singapore Open title augurs well for the Commonwealth Games and World Championships, Sindhu replied: “Ya, it is. I wanted to be more successful (laughs). Right now, it is time to just go and relax and then focus on the Commonwealth Games. Hope I get a medal in that.

“Followed by that we have the World Championships and Japan Open. Of course, hope for a medal in that too. I have to be physically and mentally fit. My strength and conditioning coach, Srikanth, is there with me, so it should be okay.”

Sindhu, who already has a silver and bronze apart from the team gold from the Commonwealth Games, will be the favourite for gold this time.

Talking about the Birmingham event, she said: “It is going to be a team event. We have to give 100 percent and be in 100 percent form. As a team, we need to work (towards it) and after that, there is an individual event.

“I hope I give my best; it is not going to be easy. There are some good players. So hoping for as many medals as we can.”

The final was a tricky affair as Sindhu recovered from a mid-game slump to outwit Zhi Yi.

“It was a good match. After winning the first game I gave away continuous points from the beginning in the second; so it was really difficult to catch up. But in the third game it was 9-11 and it was a crucial phase, where I had to maintain the lead,” she said.

Talking about her opponent, Sindhu said: “She played well. I am playing her for the second time. I was not hoping that it will be easy; I knew it would be a long match, long rallies.”

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