Indian Shuttler PV Sindhu has once again stunned everyone by beating World No.2 Wang Yihan of China in straight games to enter the semi-finals of the women's singles category at the ongoing Rio Olympics.
The 21-year-old Indian now stood just a win away from assuring India an elusive medal at the Rio Olympics, rated her win over London Olympics silver medalist as ‘one of the best moments’ of her career hoping that she could maintain her good form against Japanese Nozomi Okuhara.
“This is also Rio Olympics, it’s a very different feeling. It’s one of the best moments. I hope there will be many more to come,” World No 10 said after her 22-20 21-19 victory to become second Indian after Saina Nehwal to reach last four at Olympics.
Queried about the pressure of winning an Olympic medal for India in this difficult time, she said, “I was just thinking about the game. If you play really well you will automatically win the game, and a medal. I’m just focusing on my match and the next match, the semis (against Okuhara). I hope I can give my best.”
Seven years younger to the Chinese, the two-time world championship bronze medallist Indian trailed by 10-12 and was 20-20 but she maintained her calm to win two points and take an intense first game.
Sindhu attributed her patience which helped her winning crucial points when the much fancied Chinese rival was retrieving everything she threw at her.
“There were big rallies, she was attacking well. My smashes were going out initially. Even she did not leave and she was lifting everything. I was really patient and I was ready for everything, which I feel was the turning point,” she said.
“I never thought I would lose this, because any moment anything can change. It was not so easy to get points, both of us fought for every point. It was very close. In the first game it was 20-all and I felt even though I was leading I never thought the game was over. She came really close, even she played brilliantly,” she added.
Coach Pullela Gopichand lauds PV Sindhu
Sindhu's coach and childhood idol Pullela Gopichand heaped praise on the star shuttler.“I think Sindhu played really well and it was a very spirited performance. From the very beginning both the players really fought like hell.
Sindhu had a good lead in the second game but Wang Yihan recovered very well. Yet Sindhu remained calm and became aggressive in the last few points to finish it off," Gopichand said.
"She was playing to a specific plan and Sindhu did straight get into retrieving action and negated Wang Yihan's attack. She was smart and she started attacking Sindhu's forehand right away but Sindhu gave it back with some great smashes. All in all, I think great game by Sindhu showed a very great good attitude and a performance at a high level. There is chance of improvement in a couple of areas, but undeniably the way she fought and the way she pulled the strategy through it was very good very. To feel confident about the defence and then do it at the big points is commendable," Gopichand added.
The former All England Open champion asserted that Sindhu can challenge the best shuttlers in the world on a regular basis if she manages to become more consistent.
"She's performed well in big events, when she's had time to prepare well. She has been inconsistent a few times squandering leads, but it's part of growing up. She's young and she has time and age on her side. She is a great fighter and has a great work ethic. In my book she can do a notch higher, but what she did was fantastic," the 42-year-old asserted.
Wang, who had taken silver at the 2012 London Olympics, was expected to be the stronger in Tuesday's encounter, but it was Sindhu who dominated most of the exchanges. The World no.10 Indian won the majority of the long rallies and used her power-packed smashes and cross-court shots to good effect.