PV Sindhu’s interesting 2018 on the tour came to an end with a gold medal at the BWF World Tour Finals in Guangzhou. After a string of silver-medal finishes during the year, the 23-year-old overcame stiff challenges from the world’s best to finish unbeaten in the tournament. And now, Sindhu turns her attention to Premier Badminton League, where she will turn up for Hyderabad Hunters.

It is in Hyderabad Sindhu spoke to Scroll before she left for Guangzhou. The interview was not about her game, or her results in the year or her tactics and training. It was an attempt to get to know Sindhu better off-the-court. What’s her off day like? What’s her advice to young shuttlers in the country? What would she have been, if not a badminton player? And more.

Here are excerpts from the interview.

What does Sindhu like about Sindhu and hate about Sindhu?

Likes about me is... I am very jovial and friendly with everybody. Hates is... I am very sensitive and I get angry fast, so yeah...

Which Superhero would you like to be?

Wonder woman!

What would you tell 10-year-old Sindhus?

I would say that... you have to keep working hard and hard work is the key to success. There is no excuse for it. And the most important thing is, they need to be dedicated and focussed. They need to have a goal to achieve. And one more thing, it’s the parents support. That’s the most important thing, for me my parents have been very supportive. They were always behind me.

How good was Sindhu at studies?

I was good at studies, yes. After 10th I wasn’t regular, for sure, because I had to travel. When I was not a badminton player, when I had not become like so famous, I was very much interested in becoming a doctor! But I now feel, okay... badminton is much, much better.

How good are you at keeping a diet? Are you a foodie?

Well yeah, I am a foodie. But when it comes to diet and I have to reduce my weight, I follow a strict diet because it is very important for me. And it is FOR me. I have to play, I have to keep myself fit. When it comes to junk, I will have all sorts of junk food.. ice creams, biriyani, pasta, pizza.

What would you be if not a badminton player?

I’ve never thought a second thought. I started playing around the age of 8, 8 and a half. I started for fun and then I just continued. I never had a second thought — “well, maybe if I would have played tennis” or anything else. It was always badminton in my mind.

What’s your favourite TV show and why?

Nothing in particular... just Netflix and chill!

Non-badminton athletes that you admire the most and why?

There are 2-3... [Roger] Federer. [Rafa] Nadal. Usain Bolt. They are definitely superheroes! Whatever they do, whichever sport they are a part of, they are doing a lot for their country and for themselves. It’s their dedication. They set out to achieve something in life and they did it.

Federer or Nadal?

I’d say both actually! Not one in particular...

If you had to pick one...

I think Nadal...

Favourite badminton memory from childhood

Before when I started playing, just for fun, when my sister and her friends used to play, that’s when I used to go and say, please give me a chance. And they’d be like, ‘no, you go, you are a small kid!’ And now when we think about it, it’s always funny (laughs) when me and my sister talk about it now. Those days we used to say... and now look, it’s completely different.

How does it feel to play for Hyderabad, your home franchise?

It feels really very good. For the first time I am playing for Hyderabad, it’s always been Chennai, Lucknow for the last years. We are going to have a lot of home crowd — the Hyderbad Hunters are always very supportive. Really looking forward to it.

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