PV Sindhu had endured a heart-breaking 2018, finishing second-best in many major tournaments. It seemed that gold medal would elude her in this year ahead of the final major tournament which was the Badminton World Tour Finals. However, the Indian shuttler put in a magnificent performance as she defeated Nozomi Okuhara in straight games to become the first player from India to win this prestigious event. Having finally won gold, Sindhu has now set her sights on the Premier Badminton League which will begin on December 23. Speaking at an event, Sindhu said she felt no pressure heading into the clash.
“To answer everybody whoever had doubts about me, I would simply say it's a gold this time and no more silver,” Sindhu said emphatically during the the Republic Summit, which was also attended by wrestler Babita Phogat and former India opener Gautam Gambhir. The 23-year-old will potentially square off against Carolina Marin, who had defeated her in the final of the 2016 Rio Olympics. Sindhu also thanked the government for providing good support.
“If you play well automatically you will do well and then the government support is there. You have the TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme) for the talented, top players and also Khelo India. The government is doing a great job by supporting us, so if you do well they will recognise you and they will sponsor you," Sindhu said. The Indian shuttler said several years ago, sponsors would be very hard to come by but nowadays, there has been a big increase in their presence and this is making a big impact with regards to the game.
“We have sponsors now-a-days, a lot of people have sponsors. Before if you do well, achieve success and are in the top, then only sponsors used to support you. But now there are a lot of sponsors who are coming and encouraging at the grass-root level. That is very important,” Sindhu said.
The Premier Badminton League will begin on December 23 and Sindhu will play for the Hyderabad Hunters. The games will be played in Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Bangalore while the final of the tournament will be on 13th January in Bangalore. Delhi Dashers won the 2016 season of the Premier Badminton League while Chennai Smashers won the 2017 season.