Photo credit: Tang Shi

Indian TV channel, NDTV, has had a talk with their two top shuttlers, Pusarla V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal, after the Asian Games. The two are aiming for medals of another color than what they already have at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020. But first there are many other things to focus on.

After the Asian Games both return to India with new medals in the bags. Saina Nehwal got bronze and Pusarla V. Sindhu got silver. Both were stopped by Tai Tzu Ying in their hunt for gold. And the Taiwanese player has had a good year against the two Indians so far.

Six matches between Tai Tzu Ying and the Indians this year have resulted in six losses for the Indians. Saina Nehwal lost in the final of Indonesia Masters, in first round of All England, and in the semifinals of both Asian Championships and Asian Games. Pusarla V. Sindhu only played the Taiwanese world no. 1 twice; when she lost the semifinal at Malaysia Open and in the final of the Asian Games.

  • 2018 statistics: Tai Tzu Ying vs. Saina Nehwal
    Final of Indonesia Masters 21-9 21-13
    First round of All England 21-14 21-18
    Semifinal of Asian Championships 27-25 21-19
    Semifinal of Asian Games 21-17 21-14
  • 2018 statistics: Tai Tzu Ying vs. Pusarla V. Sindhu
    Semifinal of Malaysia Open 21-15 19-21 21-11
    Final of Asian Games 21-13 21-16

Besides this Nehwal and Sindhu have met each other twice in 2018, once in the quarterfinal of Indonesia Masters and then in the final of the Commonwealth Games. Both times Saina Nehwal left the court with her arms raised highest.

  • 2018 statistics: Saina Nehwal vs. Pusarla V. Sindhu
    Quarterfinal of Indonesia Masters 21-13 21-19
    Final of Commonwealth Games 21-18 23-21

Sure there are many big tournaments coming up just around the corner, including the “normal” tournaments on the HSBC BWF World Tour like Japan Open, China Open and All England, but also the World Championships next year in Basel, Switzerland. But the next big goal for the Indian women’s single players is the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.

No one is unbeatable

In the interview with NDTV Sindhu talks about how difficult it is to win a medal at the Asian Games and says there will always be pressure on them to bring back medals for India. And she assures she will find ways to beat Tai Tzu Ying in the future. Nehwal on her side feel very satisfied with her 2018 so far, which includes the gold at the Commonwealth Games and now a bronze medal at the Asian Games as well. These accomplishments boost her confidence for the future tournaments.

Asked directly how she sees Tai Tzu Ying, Saina Nehwal says the Taiwanese is a very talented player who she rates as the female version of Taufik Hidayat. The Taiwanese has amazing strokes and fitness and she is very quick on her feet. Despite Tai Tzu Ying having been world no. 1 for a couple of years now, Nehwal says it is always possible to beat any top player in the world. One can always improve but it requires really hard work.

Many people talk about Sindhu’s “final jinx” – the Indian lost two World Championship finals, one Olympic final, and the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games final this year. It seems she is not so happy to talk about this. At least she avoids talking about it when asked how far away the gold medals are. She is just hoping to do well in the upcoming tournaments in Japan and China the next couple of weeks.


You can watch the full interview with Saina Nehwal and Pusarla V. Sindhu here:

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