Can Sindhu break the jinx?

Can Sindhu break the jinx?

Indian badminton ace P V Sindhu will have to be on her toes against World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the final. PTI

Can P V Sindhu break the final jinx? That will be the question in the Indian minds as their number one badminton player faces the world’s number one in the women’s singles gold medal match of the Asian Games on Tuesday.

The world number three player, seeded third here, has lost eight major finals in recent times but her task to break that silver spell will not be easy, for against her will be the formidable Chinese Taipei lady Tai Tzu Ying.

After her semifinal win over Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi, Sindhu was asked her thoughts on becoming the first Indian to be assured of at least a silver at the Asian Games. “Silver?” Sindhu asked raising her eyebrows in surprise. “I hope I get gold, and I know I need to work hard for that.”

Tai has won five titles this season but she couldn’t make a mark at the World Championships. She would certainly like to make amends for that. Her bag of tricks has proved too much for the Indians in recent times, as explained by Saina Nehwal after her loss in the semifinals.

“You can’t take anything for granted against her because she is someone who picks up even those difficult shots well. She has got very smooth movements with quick shots.”

Saina put Sindhu’s chances at 50-50. “Sindhu is taller. She has more options to counter, she can play shots which I cannot play as she is taller.” 

Indian coach Pullela Gopichand is aware of the significance of the gold medal here. He felt Sindhu need to treat the final as just another game, not as her first Asian Games final where she has to win the gold. That is easier said than done but on Sindhu’s part, what she can do is to minimise her mistakes and stay on her toes right through, for against Tai, there is simply no room for errors.