Talented Sindhu targets top-15 ranking

Talented Sindhu targets top-15 ranking

P V Sindhu's affable persona belies her fierce ambition to reach the top of world badminton.

impressive India’s Arundhati Pantawane returns during her win over Sabrina Jacquet in the qualifying round of the India Open in New Delhi on Tuesday. pti

At 16, after her very first year on the senior circuit, she is perched at 27th place in the singles and hopes to touch the heights of national icon Saina Nehwal.

Her exploits as a junior created ripples and she was quick to be seen at the next best prospect after Saina. She turned to the senior circuit in 2011 and clinched three international challenge events at Maldives, Indonesia and India. She clinched Swiss International to swell her trophy cabinet and finished runner-up at the Dutch Open.

The AP girl is now focused on cracking the top -15 rankings. "I surprised myself after winning the Indonesia International challenge because there were so many Indonesian players and I thought I cannot win. But I beat top seed Fransiska Ratnasari who had beaten me earlier," Sindhu said. “Now, I want to see myself inside top 15 by the end of year."

She had skipped Asian Badminton Championship last week to prepare for the India Open here and feels confident taking on her first round opponent Tzu Ying Tai of Chinese Taipei, who had beaten her twice earlier, on Wednesday.

"I have been training hard for India Open. I want to play well and give my best. I have been working on my strokes and endurance. I lost to her in All England in the third game but I feel I can beat her this time,” said Sindhu, who enjoys watching Chinese superstar Lin Dan play.

The transition from junior to the senior circuit is never easy but Sindhu is willing to put that extra-effort. “On the senior circuit, there are a lot of long rallies. You have to work hard to win points. For example in Indonesia, I had 10-15 stroke rally before winning a point. You need a lot of endurance and speed to win and I have been working on that.” Comparisons with Saina are inevitable but Sindhu said she is not taking any pressure.

Arundhati, Neha qualify

Arundhati Pantawane and Neha Pandit made it to the main draw in women's singles, but none of the India men could make it.

Final qualifying round esults:  Men: Vladimir Ivanov (Rus) bt Sameer Verma (Ind) 17-21, 25-23, 21-14; Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Tha) bt Anand Pawar (Ind) 21-12, 21-14; Yong Zhao Ashton Chen (Sin) bt Rohit Yadav C (Ind) 21-13, 21-13; Suppanyu Avihingsanon (Tha) bt Sai Praneeth B (Ind) 19-21, 21-19, 23-21. Women: Arundhati Pantawane (Ind) bt Sabrina Jaquet (Sui) 19-21, 21-13, 21-1; Xiao Jia Chen (Chn) bt Lianne Tan (Bel) 21-18, 21-9; Nichaon Jindapon (Tha) bt Elizabeth Cann (Eng) 21-11, 21-11; Neha Pandit (Ind) bt Mohita Sahdev (Ind) 21-17, 22-24, 21-14.

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