New Delhi: On the eve of her 18th birthday, India's rising shuttler P V Sindhu wishes for three things this year -- at least a semifinal finish at next month's World Championship, a place in the top 10 ranking and qualifying for World Super Series Final in December. In a two-year-old international career, Sindhu has broken into top 20 in September 2012, clinched the Malaysian Grand Prix Gold in May this year and now is just two places away from cracking the elite top-10 bracket.
Currently recovering from a knee injury, Sindhu has already chalked out her plan for the year."I had injured my right knee last year, which affected my game. But this year I was fine till the Sudirman Cup where I hurt my other knee. I missed Thailand and Indonesia Open due to the injury but I hope to be fit for the prestigious World Championships," Sindhu told PTI.
"This is the first time I would be playing the World Championships and I would like to at least make it to the semifinals. This is my immediate target," she added. Speaking about her other goals for the year, Sindhu said: "I am world number 12 now and want to break into the top 10 by this year end. Besides, I also want to qualify for the World Super Series. It is not going to be easy as only the top eight qualifies."
The World Championships is slated to be held in Guangzhou, China from August 5 to 11, while the Super series Finals is scheduled for December 11-15. Though she has achieved a lot in the last couple of years, Sindhu could have done better had it not been for her injuries, which she suffered at an early stage of her international career.
After shocking London Olympics gold medallist Li Xuerui of China at China Masters last year, she was plagued by a right knee injury that also spoilt her Senior Nationals campaign in Srinagar, where she finished runners-up. She also made it to the finals of the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold. Having recovering from the injury completely, Sindhu played in Korea, Malaysia, England, Switzerland and Chinese Taipei this year. She reached the semifinals of the India Open and then went on to win the Malaysian Grand Prix Gold.
But once again injuries came to haunt her when she hurt her left knee at Sudirman Cup in Kuala Lumpur. "Last year, because of injury I could not play in the World Junior and also in the senior nationals I had to play with a knee cap. This year too I had to skip two important events (Thailand and Indonesia)," she said.
Sindhu is one of the six icon players who would start with a base price of USD 50,000 in the July 19 auction of the inaugural Indian Badminton League, which is scheduled to be held from August 14 to 31. "I am really looking forward to IBL. It is a good initiative. I'm waiting for the auctions to find out which team I will represent. It will be exciting," she said.
Born to former volleyball players P V Ramana and P Vijaya, Sindhu could have become a spiker herself but she choose badminton. Inspired by national coach Pullela Gopichand's 2001 All England Championship title, Sindhu dreamt of donning India colours someday and she was well supported by her parents.
"I always had very supportive parents. They have made a lot of sacrifices for me. I remember for the first couple of years, I had to travel a lot to reach the Gachibowli stadium as we were staying in Secunderabad. So they shifted base near Gachibowli," said Sindhu, who is expecting a big bash on her birthday on Friday.