World champion PV Sindhu said sky-high expectation from her makes her work even harder as she aims at a second medal in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in July-August.
“From the Rio Olympics to now, my life has changed a lot. I won a lot and I lost some. I have been improving step by step. Not much was expected of me when I went to Rio but now people look for a gold medal from me,” Sindhu, who is in Chennai to play for Hyderabad Hunters in the fifth edition of Premier Badminton League, said.
“I look at it in a positive way when everyone expects me to do well. I don’t consider that as added pressure and that will only make me work even harder. It’s not going to be easy but I’m prepared for the challenges awaiting me,” she added.
Being an Olympic year, the world No 6 said it was good to play the PBL because one got to play with top players which is helpful.
“We get to play with top quality players in PBL like Tai Tzu Ying, which is helpful in an Olympic-year. We get to learn a lot from the foreign players, who come up with useful inputs. Even I get to improve some aspects of my game by interacting with foreign talent. They offer useful tips that can help the growth of a player.
“There is a lot more time before the Olympics. We have a couple of important events in the run-up to Olympics. For now, my focus is on helping my team in the PBL. I just want to play my game and enjoy,” she added.
The 24-year old shuttler, who has had an up-and-down run since winning the world title in Basel last year, said she was working on her mental fitness, adding it was important to be in a positive frame of mind.
“I have been working on mental fitness. There have been close matches in the past where I won and some that I lost. It’s important to be in a positive frame of mind and come back stronger and rectify the mistakes,” Sindhu said.
The Hyderabad ace also said it was important to pick and choose tournaments.
“It is important to pick and choose tournaments because at times you might not be feeling 100 per cent. Some people say that you have to play as many events as you can but only if you believe you can give your best should you play,” she added.
Sindhu said the PBL is a great platform for youngsters like Lakshya Sen and she was impressed with her Hunters’ teammate Priyanshu Rajawat, who made his debut in the league on Monday.
“The PBL is a great platform for youngsters like Lakshya Sen. For Priyanshu, it was his first match on such a big stage and he played well. It’s a good exposure for the younger crop because they get to learn a lot more from the senior pros. It’s a learning process and they will get more familiar with high-pressure matches,” she added.