India star Sindhu out to make roaring return in team event
PETALING JAYA: A rejuvenated P. V. Sindhu is keen to make a strong impression in the Asia Team Championships from Feb 13-18 at the Setia Alam Convention Centre.
The Indian women’s singles shuttler has been stepping up her recovery from a left knee injury which she picked up in the French Open last October and is set to make her comeback in the team meet.
Sindhu had added Indonesian Agus Dwi Santos to her coaching team last month in a bid to rediscover her best form starting from the team tourney which also acts as the qualifiers for the Uber Cup Finals from April 27-May 5 in Chengdu, China.
Agus has been guiding the 28-year-old along with Prakash Padukone at the latter’s academy in Bengaluru.
After suffering a stress fracture in her left foot in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, Sindhu had struggled to regain the form that saw her crowned world champion in 2019.
The world No. 11 had shown signs of her old self when she reached back-to-back semi-finals in the Arctic and Denmark Opens last October before her progress was again cruelly curtailed by injury.
Sindhu though has vowed to fight hard to be at her best again ahead of the Paris Olympics in July.
Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA) head coach and national team selector U. Vimal Kumar believes that Sindhu needs to take more initiative in her matches.
“Sindhu needs to take a little more initiative because she suddenly has gone a little defensive,” said Vimal in an interview with the Hindustan Times.
“If the opponent plays a slow game, she will also slow down her game.
“If the opponent is playing fast, she will try to cope.
“There was no initiative like playing at the net, creating opportunities, going on the attack.
“Prakash’s inputs will help because he can convey those things to her.”
Vimal feels a good showing in the Asia team meet will give Sindhu a timely boost ahead of the back-to-back French Open (March 5-10) and All-England (March 12-17).
“We can really gauge where she is at when she returns to the court.
“She will get good match practice.
“That can help her at the European circuit next month.
“She needs some wins. Eventually it is all about confidence.”
India are already guaranteed a spot in the quarter-finals in the team meet along with China as both are the only two teams placed in Group W.