International matches have become more competitive and demanding characterised by long rallies, feels PV Sindhu, who had to settle for a silver after losing a marathon final at the World Championship.
In a battle of attrition marked by energy-sapping long rallies, including a 73-shot rally, Sindhu and Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara fought for an hour and 50 minutes before the Indian lost the match by a whisker.
“It’s not going to be easy anymore. Because, if you see, women’s singles, men’s singles, doubles, whatever, nowadays, the rallies are too long,” Sindhu told reporters after returning home on Tuesday.
“Nobody is getting an easy point anywhere. It is just that you have to fight for each point,” added the 22-year-old from Hyderbad, who won bronze twice in the 2013 and 2014 editions.
Talking about the nail-biting final, Sindhu said: “Mentally and physically, it is just tiring. But at that point of time, you just think that you have to get that point. Because, it is world championship finals.
“I was just playing. She was equally tired. That 73-shot rally, I think it happened for the first time. It was a good match because, it was anybody’s game,” she said.
Olympic silver medallist Sindhu said she was upset after the match. “It was a good match, overall. Okuhara also played well. At that time, after 20-all, it was anybody’s game. I fought hard but it was not just my day,” she said.
“After the final match, I felt upset but I thought ‘never mind’. I thought it is over now; from next day it was normal.”
Sindhu, however, took the disappointment in her stride to focus on the future and said she is glad she could at least change the colour of the medal this time.
“Feeling very happy. It’s one of the best tournaments after Rio (Olympics) and also World Championships is something different. Before it was bronze (medal), both the times, this time I changed the colour to silver. I am very happy about it,” said Sindhu.
With Saina and Sindhu reaching the semifinals, there was lot of expectations of having another all-Indian final at the World Championship but it didn’t materialise after the former lost to Okuhara in the final four.
Sindhu said a final clash between her and Saina at the World Championship could be a possibility in future.
“At the World Championships, we expected (all-Indian final). But, it did not happen. But, definitely yes, it will be, someday,” she said.
She said getting adequate time for preparation helped her in the World Championship.
“We have been practicing hard. We don’t have much time between the tournaments. It is generally one, two weeks, we go for a tournament and come back. But, this time, before world chmpionships, we had almost two months of proper time. It was good that we got enough time to practice,” she said.
Sindhu defeated two Chinese shuttlers — Sun Yu and Chen Yufei — en route to her final appearance.
“It was just that I played my game and played my best. Everybody has different style of play. It is not that Chinese is something different. Even the Chinese played well. Overall, talking about Chinese, it’s different style of play with everyone,” she said.
Sindhu said it was a great feeling to receive wishes on social media from many prominent personalities, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.