Sindhu seeks confidence boost


India women’s singles shuttler P. V. Sindhu reacts after winning a point against Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour during the first round of Malaysian Masters at Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: India’s women’s singles ace P. V. Sindhu is out to end her two-year wait for an individual title in the Malaysian Masters.

Sindhu last captured a title in the 2022 Singapore Open and has only reached a final once since then in the Spain Masters last year where she finished runner-up to Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska.

The 2019 world champion has struggled to regain her best form after suffering a stress fracture in her left foot during the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Sindhu, though, has a golden opportunity to get a much needed confidence boost ahead of the 2024 Paris OIympics in the Malaysian tourney as most of the top 10 players in the world are not competing. The only top 10 players in the fray are China’s world No. 6 Han Yue and world No. 7 Wang Zhiyi.

Sindhu hopes to take full advantage of the absence of big names to get her hands on the title. She got off to a good start by beating Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour 21-17, 21-16 in the first round at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

"I’m hoping to win the tournament but I’m taking it one match at a time," said Sindhu. "Winning the title will definitely give me a boost ahead of the Olympics.

"The most important thing is to give 100% in every match and if I do well, I will automatically get my confidence back."

The 28-year-old is keen to be at her best leading up to the Olympics. Sindhu is determined to win her third medal in Paris after capturing a silver and bronze in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro and 2020 Tokyo editions respectively.

"The Olympics is coming soon and it’s very important to be at the top level in Paris as the other players will be at their best," said Sindhu. "The competition will be very tough as the top one to 15 players in the world are nearly at the same level.

"I’m hoping to win a medal again in my third Olympics." Sindhu will play South Korea’s Sim Yu-jin next for a place in the last eight in the Malaysian tourney.

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