Seoul: Although the match between PV Sindhu and Nozomi Okuhara was seen as a revenge by many, the 22-year-old Indian herself thinks that the heart-breaking loss against the same opponent in the final of the World Championships was not on her mind, during the final of the Korean Open Super Series at Seoul on Sunday.
“I had lost to her after being 19-17 in the World Championship but I didn’t keep that in my mind even though there were long rallies. I kept telling myself next point is important. I had to control the shuttle very much, so there was nothing in my mind,” said Sindhu when asked about the memories of the final.
Earlier in the day, Sindhu overcame the Japanese Nozomi 22-20, 11-21, 21-18 to win her first Korean Open and also the third Super Series of her career. She also became the first Indian in the process to win the Korean Open.
Talking about the final which she won after a hard long battle of one hour and 24 minutes she said, “In the first game, we were equal at 20-20 and I changed the course and won the game.
“In the second game all were going out, I couldn’t control the shuttle. It was a huge lead even if I would have tried so I lost easy.”
She also said, “In the third game, each and every point was important, even though I was leading at 11 points she came back and after 11 points, every point were big rallies like the World Championship and nobody was leaving.”
This is the second consecutive time both the world number 4 and world number 17 faced each other in a tournament final and one shouldn’t be surprised if both are again seen battling each other with the title up for grabs in the upcoming Japan Premier next week.
However, Sindhu remained optimist telling with confidence that she is ready to face anybody. “It is nothing like that, anybody is fine. It is the second time immediately after the World Championship that I am playing her in a final,” she said.
“Even earlier everybody used to say it would be Carolina Marin but now they are saying maybe it would be Okuhara again at Japan but I guess you have to play one or the other and you have to beat them to win,” she added.
Coach Pullela Gopichand also praised the efforts of the player saying that they worked on the attacking side of her play after the World Championships, which helped her today.
“We prepared a bit on the attacking side, not that we had a great amount of time but we tried to cover the mistakes that she committed at Glasgow in whatever time we had to prepare for Korea. It was important for Sindhu’s confidence to win after the kind of loss she had in the world championships final,” said Gopichand.
Talking about the number one ranking, which is the dream of every shuttler, Gopichand said that his pupil, “At 22 she has many years of badminton in her and if she can continue playing she will reach there someday.”
Venkata Ramana, Sindhu’s proud father was also delighted with his daughter’s win. He said, “After the world championship she was upset and luckily she could come out of it. It is a good match today.”
When asked if coming from a family with a sports background helps, the former volleyball player said that he only gives Sindhu fitness tips.
He said, “Physical fitness wise I give her some tips. I was watching the Okuhara match the other day at the World Championship, she was hitting down the line towards the backhand side of Sindhu and then coming onto the net very fast.”
“So today I told her, she should keep the shuttle at the back side sometimes, so that she should be in a dilemma whether she will be giving at the back or front and that strategy worked,” he added.
The World number 4 is next expected to play in the Japan Super Series starting next week.