India’s No 1 woman shuttler P.V. Sindhu had a roller coaster ride in her badminton career last year – clinching the world title in Basel, Switzerland in August and then surrendered the season-ending World Tour Finals title in Guangzhou, China four months later.
The 25-year-old Indian lass from Hyderabad, the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medal winner, is unperturbed with the highs and lows in her badminton career last year.
Instead, Sindhu has now switched her focus to the Tokyo Olympics which will be held from July 24 to August 9 in the Land of the Rising Sun.
The Perodua Malaysia Masters and the Daihatsu Indonesia Master this month are important tournaments for the World No 6. Sindhu, who is the sixth seed in the Malaysia Masters faces 25th ranked Russia’s Evgeniya Kosetskaya in the first round.
Japan’s Aya Ohori or Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan awaits her for a place in the last eight if she clears her first-round hurdle.
In a recent interview with Indian media, Sindhu was quoted by Times of India as saying “the Olympics gold will be the first and most important target and become the No 1 in the world plus win a few superseries titles” as her priorities in 2020.
Sindhu failed to retain her title in the World Tour Finals – winning only one match in her group in Guangzhou. It summed up her poor run after winning the world title. The Indian hope lost in the first and second rounds in several other tournaments last year.
She is, however, keeping her chin up against the criticisms she has received for her poor show after becoming the first Indian woman to win the world title.
“I keep myself positive and learn a lot from my mistakes and come back stronger. Pressure and criticisms don’t affect me. I need to train hard and give my best.”
Sindhu added that she is working on her techniques and iron out her flaws – determined to make a strong start to the new season.
The Perodua Malaysia Masters Super 500 offers USD400,000 in prize money and is presented by Daihatsu. It kickstarts the BWF World Tour season. More importantly, it offers Olympic qualifying points.
Tai Tzu Ying, the World No 2 is the top seed with China’s Chen Yufei, World No 1 seeded second. Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara and compatriot Akane Yamaguchi are seeded third and fourth respectively.