Pusarla Venkata Sindhu, or popularly known as PV Sindhu, is the highest ranked Indian badminton player after Saina Nehwal and is surely one of the brightest talent of the game at the age of 21.
PV Sindhu started playing badminton from the age of eight. Both her parents played professional volleyball, still Sindhu chose badminton over it drawing inspiration from Pullela Gopichand, the 2001 All England Open Badminton champion. She came into the international circuit in 2009, where she won a bronze medal at the Sub-Junior Asian Championship held in Colombo. Sindhu also reached the quarterfinals of the 2010 Junior World Badminton Championship in Mexico. That was the start of a great career of this young badminton star.
In 2012, Sindhu won her first title, the Asia Youth Under 19 Championship by beating Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara. Sindhu then announced herself in the senior circuit with a bang when she continued her form in the Li Ning China Masters Super Series tournament where she stunned the reigning Olympic Champion Li Xuerui and entered the semi-finals. Unfortunately, she couldn’t progress any further but that was an indication that she was going to make it big in the coming days. In courtesy of her performances she also broke into the top 20 of the Badminton World Federation rankings which were released on 21 September, 2012.
Sindhu’s maiden Grand Prix Gold title came in 2013 when she won the Malaysian Open by beating Juan Gu of Singapore. Her maiden World Championship appearance also came in 2013 in Guangzhou. There she pulled off a major upset as she defeated the defending champion and second seen Wang Yihan of China in straight seeds to set up a clash with Wang Shixian. She then created history by beating Wang Shixian to become India’s first medalist in women’s singles at the World Championships. The young sensation also won the Macau Open and was awarded the Arjuna award by the Government of India. That was truly one of the best moments of her career.
In her first Commonwealth Games, PV Sindhu reached the semis but eventually lost. 2014 was a big year for her as she won back to back World Championship bronze medals and became the first Indian to achieve that feat. She also reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in Denmark where she showed extraordinary skills and fighting spirits to beat world number 2 Wang Shixian in three gruelling sets. She never looked back in her career and kept on rising her game.
In 2015, PV Sindhu claimed her 3rd successive Macau Open title. Playing at the Denmark Open, she reached her first Super Series final. In the final, she lost to the defending champion Li Xuerui of China. With her consistent performances she glittered hopes on many Indian fans for an Olympic medal. In March 2015, she received the Padma Shri.
With Saina Nehwal already winning an Olympic medal, it was now time for PV Sindhu to perform at the big stage competing in her first ever Olympic Games in Rio. She came into the games with lots of hopes of winning a medal for the country. She really stood up to the occasion as she will now play an Olympic semi-final after defeating the world number 2 Wang Yihan of China in straight sets. She has really brought out the best of her in Rio as she aims for the historic gold medal in the Rio Olympics. She has worked hard every year to be at this stage and fight for that Olympic title. She has kept the tri-colour flying high in Rio.
Do you think PV Sindhu will be able to win a medal in Rio 2016? Share your thoughts in the comments below!