It was Super Saturday for India’s PV Sindhu, who justified her top billing in the Malaysian Open badminton championships in Kuala Lumpur by beating Singaporean fifth seed Juan Gu in the women’s singles final of the $120,000 event. The Hyderabadi World No 13 won 21-17, 17-21, 21-19 in one hour and 11 minutes.
SUNDAY MiD DAY caught up with the 17-year-old champion over the phone as she visited a Kuala Lumpur mall after her triumph on Saturday.
What’s the feeling like to win your first Grand Prix Gold title?
I cannot express in words how I’m feeling right now. I am very happy. But, I am aware that with this win, expectations will rise. Now that my wait of winning a GP gold is over, I need to put in more hard work to reach the top.
Having played Juan Gu before, was it easier for you to prepare for the final?
I played against her a year ago. Our games have undergone a lot of changes. It was a long, tough and tiring match, but I’m glad I kept my cool and won.
You came close to winning a GP Gold title in Lucknow last year when you lost to Lindaweni Fanetri. You’ve done it, at last…
I missed winning in Lucknow by a whisker. I was unable to attend my elder sister Divya’s wedding then. Now that I have won the title, I would like to dedicate the win to my family especially my sister and coaches — P Gopichand and Edwin Iriawan without whom I wouldn’t have achieved success.
Do you have any ranking goals for the rest of the year?
My immediate aim is to break into the Top-10 and later, a Top-5 finish.
How did you celebrate your win?
There were no big celebrations. I missed my parents. But in their absence, I went and hugged my coach Edwin. Then I called my parents and spoke to them at length. I went out with my coach for dinner. I am looking forward to some celebrations when I reach Hyderabad. I just can’t wait to have some Hyderabadi biryani cooked by my mother.
What do you want to gift yourself for the win?
A nice t-shirt!
Saina Nehwal is your idol, but now you will be pitted against her. Are you ready for that?
I have always been compared with Saina, but I have managed to come out of that and make my own little space. She’ll always be my idol. I’ll will try not to take that pressure on court. I’ll play against her like any other opponent.