India’s PV Sindhu got back to winning ways with an opening round win at the Hong Kong Open Super 500 badminton tournament on Wednesday. The world No 6 defeated Korea’s Kim Ga Eun 21-15, 21-16 to book her place in the round of 16.
It was an important victory for Sindhu as she had lost in either the first or the second round in four of the last five tournaments she competed in.
Earlier this year, the 24-year-old created history by becoming the first Indian to be crowned world champion, but she has had to endure a string of poor results after that. Speaking after her win in Hong Kong on Wednesday, the Olympic silver medallist said that it took her some time to settle down after winning the World Championships in Basel in August.
“I was really happy with the way I played the World Championships,” she said. “After it was over, it took me some time [to settle down], because it was a much-awaited win for me, and it didn’t sink in.”
Sindhu believes her big triumph this year didn’t lead her astray and the losses after that haven’t affected her mentally. “I’ve been playing okay, I don’t have much to complain about, that I was mentally low or anything,” she said.
“Even though I had a few losses, it will just make me much more stronger and I think that I need to come back again and work harder. It was a wonderful month in August at the World Championships. After that it was okay. These things happen.”
Sindhu insists that the attention she got after becoming the world champion didn’t distract her and that training for the Olympics remains her single focus.
“Those things [felicitations] will be there but I don’t have much to complain about. I think I will enjoy it as it comes. I give importance to training. I’m in the limelight because of this. A lot of people look up to me for motivation.
“After Rio it’s been completely different. Indian badminton – women and men, and even doubles – has been growing really well. I’ve been training, I want to be fit as this is an Olympic year. Mistakes happen, but fitness-wise things have been fine,” she added.