Fought hard but it wasn’t just my day, said Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu on her loss to Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the epic final of the World Badminton Championships at Glasgow on Sunday.
The silver medallist said she felt upset after the defeat but enjoyed the playing the match, described as one of the best in the history of the world badminton.
The Indian lost 19-21, 22-20, 20-22 in the battle for 1 hour 50 minutes. The match also saw 73-shot rally, said to be the second longest in badminton’s history.
“Of course I was a bit upset but it was a good game and a good match. Okuhara also really played well. After 20-all it was anybody’s game. Fought hard but it wasn’t my day,” Sindhu told reporters on her return from Glasgow on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old, who won two bronze medals in World Championship in 2014 and 2015, is happy that this time she has changed the colour of the medal.
The Rio Olympics silver medallist said the final was mentally and physically tiring. “At that point all I was thinking was to get that point because it was World Championship final. I was playing to the court and Okuhara was equally tired,” she said.
She said since the long rallies were being played from the beginning and every rally was equally tough, there was no way she could have conserved the energy for the final moments.
Sindhu did not believe that the cheering by the fans was disturbing her in the tense game. “It was good in a way that too many Indians and other people were cheering for me. I would like to thank them,” she said.
She feels she had worked hard for the World Championships as she had got enough time to prepare. She said it would have been tough to recover after a long match like the final at semifinal or quarter final stage.
On beating Chinese players, Sindhu said she just play her game and give her best. “Everyone has different style of play. It’s not that I do something different with Chinese,” she said.
Sindhu believes with more long rallies, the badminton matches in singles or doubles will not be easy anymore and every player will have to fight hard to win a point.
On the possibility of a final against Saina Nehwal, Sindhu said it would definitely happen someday. She said such a contest was expected at the World Championship but it did not happen.
Saina bagged a bronze medal at Glasgow.
The star shuttler was also happy that from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bollywood stars to cricketers and other sportspersons all were commenting on social media, cheering and congratulating her. She said it was a great feeling and it gave her the motivation.
She said while badminton as a sport has increased in its popularity since Rio Olympics, she did not believe in the comparison with Sachin Tendulkar. She described the batting maestro as a great person and said cricket was a different game.
India’s chief badminton coach P. Gopichand said the final was one of the best matches in the history of badminton. He exuded confidence that next time, Sindhu would return with gold medal.
“She is just 22. She already as three World Championships medals and one Olympic medal under her belt. By the end of her career, she will have lot of gold medals in her cabinet,” he said.
Gopichand said it was a great effort by all Indian players. He feels that three to four matches of India could have been scheduled better but clarified that it’s no excuse.