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Aiming for continued improvement to remain on top: badminton champion PV Sindhu

Sayan Mukherjee

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PV Sindhu
PV Sindhu won her 1st BWF World Championship title in her third attempt.

New Delhi: Staying on top is harder than getting there, PV Sindhu is aware of the enormity of her task. Hence her aim now is for continued improvement that would enable her to remain at the top.sports news headlines

Awards and rewards have overflown since she landed in India after her World Championships triumph in Basel. But Sindhu is keen to overcome the trappings of fame and has already shifted her focus to the China Open (September 17-22) and Korea Open (September 24-29).

“The top 1-20 players in the rankings are practically of the same standard. I plan to change a few things and master some new tricks.sports news headlines

“I should have a new strategy as by now everyone is aware of my game and have tracked me accordingly,” the 24-year-old said at a junior badminton event in the Capital on Tuesday.

Learning from her past mistakes and improving on her deficiencies are also high on her agenda, and she is working closely to plug loopholes under Pullela Gopichand and Kim Ji Hyun, the new entrant to her coaching unit.

Kim’s addition has admittedly made a difference, most noticeably in her net play and aggressiveness, as evident in her World Championships final victory over Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara.

“Kim has only arrived a couple of months. We plan things together. Her focus is not just on any particular stroke but on my overall game. But she has helped improve my front court shots and defence,” the Rio Olympics silver medallist elaborated while speaking of Kim’s impact on her game.

Aware that her Basel gold has only whetted the appetite of the country starved of an individual Olympic gold (Abhinav Bindra being an exception) she isn’t willing to think of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics just yet.

Her focus is to perform consistently in the regular BWF tournaments in the build-up to the Games.

“The World Championships gold increases my confidence. There are many tournaments before the Olympics. I will build step by step for Tokyo.”

She admitted victory in Basel enhances her reputation and status while bringing enhanced pressure and responsibility. But now she is well equipped to handle such expectations.

“The World Championships gold was much awaited. I have had my share of ups and downs. Lost a lot in finals. But in Basel everything fell into place,” Sindhu said, adding that she would leave for China in a couple of days.

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Sindhu looks to snap run of early exits at French Open

Press Trust of India

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PV Sindhu

Paris: World champion P V Sindhu would look to snap her recent run of early exits when she begins her women’s singles campaign at the USD 750,000 French Open badminton tournament, beginning here on Tuesday.

Since claiming her maiden World Championships title in August, Sindhu has looked awfully out-of-form as she had failed to cross the second round in three tournaments.

She faltered in the second and first rounds at the China Open and Korea Open respectively last month. Sindhu again exited in the second round in straight games against Korea’s An Se Young in Denmark Open last week.

The Olympic silver medallist looked a tad slow in her movement in the last three tournaments, showing signs of dip in her form.

Seeded fifth in the tournament, Sindhu, a 2017 semifinalist, will be up against Canada’s world number 9 Michelle Li, who has beaten the Indian in the past twice.

If Sindhu gets past the early rounds, the world number 6 Indian is likely to face top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals.

World number 8 Saina Nehwal, who is also taking part in this BWF World Tour Super 750 event, has also been struggling with her fitness and has made three first-round exits in her last three tournaments.

The 29-year-old, who had finished runner-up at the 2012 edition, will meet Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi in the opening round.

In the men’s singles, 2017 champion Kidambi Srikanth too will be desperate to turn around his poor run in form when he steps out at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin here.

However, it will not be an easy outing for the world number 9 Indian as he opens his campaign against second seed Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen.

Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap, who reached the semifinals at India Open and Korea Open, would look to prove that the first-round exit last week at Denmark Open was an aberration when he lock horns with Hong Kong’s NG Ka Long Angus.

Sameer Verma, who had reached the semifinals of the World Tour Finals last December, will meet Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto in the opening round.

World number 12 B Sai Praneeth, who had claimed a bronze at the World Championships, will once again face the legendary Lin Dan of China in the opening round.

A 2017 Singapore Open winner, Praneeth had beaten the two-time Olympic champion Chinese at Denmark Open last week.

In the doubles, the women’s pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy will square off against fifth seeded Korean duo of Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan.

The men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty face the Dutch combination of Jelle Maas and Robin Tabeling. Another men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy and the mixed duo of Satwiksairaj and Ashwini are also in the fray.

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Kuhoo-Dhruv wins badminton mixed doubles title in Egypt

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Kuhoo Garg
Kuhoo Garg

New Delhi: Kuhoo Garg and Dhruv Rawat put up a brilliant effort to win the mixed doubles title at the Egypt International 2019 in Cairo.

The unseeded Garg and Rawat held their nerves for a tight 21-16, 22-20 victory over the third seeds Utkarsh Arora and Karishma Wadkar in an all-Indian final.

Garg and Rawat showed excellent understanding as they had accounted for the second seeds Ahmed Salah and Hadia Hosny 21-16 21-15 of Egypt in the second round and then followed it up with a comeback 16-21 21-16 21-9 win over fourth seeds Koceila Mammeri and Linda Mazri of Algeria in the semi-finals.

Garg, however, failed to have double delight as she later went down in the women’s doubles final with Sanyogita Ghorpade.

The two gave their all before bowing out narrowly, 16-21 21-19 19-21 to third seeds Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker.

Meanwhile, at the Dubai International Challenge, Rituparna Das succumbed to a 21-23, 17-21 defeat in 36 minutes to Japan’s World No. 208 Mako Urushizaki. The World No. 144 was looking for her first BWF title of the year.

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Sindhu exits in 2nd round, Sameer beaten too at Denmark Open

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PV Sindhu

Odense: World Champion P V Sindhu yet again struggled to buck the trend of early exits as she was knocked out of the Denmark Open after a straight-game loss against An Se Young in the second round.

Fifth seed Sindhu, the Olympic silver medallist, lost 14-21 17-21 to the Korean in a 40-minute clash at the BWF World Tour Super 750 event.

This was Sindhu’s third successive early exit from a tournament since claiming the World Championship at Basel, Switzerland in August.

The 24-year-old Indian had lost in the second round and first round at the China Open and Korea Open respectively in the last two events.

It turned out to be a dismal day for India as Sameer Verma and men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also went down in straight games in their second rounds.

While Sameer lost 12-21 10-21 to Olympic champion Chen Long of China in men’s singles, Thailand Open champions Satwik and Chirag suffered a 16-21 15-21 defeat against sixth seed Chinese combination of Han Cheng Kai and Zhou Hao Dong.

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