PV Sindhu has suddenly become a huge household name in India after reaching the women's singles final in Rio Olympics. The Indian shuttler has already guaranteed silver, and by the form she has shown in the competition, Sindhu will have her sights on gold as she prepares to face Carolina Marin in the finals on Friday.
Sindhu has shown some amazing form in the Rio Olympics. After cruising into the knockout stages, she took her game to the next level, starting from the prequarters, defeating Tai Tzu Ying. From there on, there has been no stopping the world number 10, defeating world no 2 in the quarterfinals, and Nozono Okuhara in the semis on Thursday to set up a date with Marin for the gold medal contest.
The Hyderabad girl has always been a top player in the badminton circuit, but Sindhu has proved her class at the grandest stage of all â€“ the Olympics. One has never seen Sindhu playing such level of badminton in the past, and hence, the shuttler has got a huge chance to deliver gold for India.
Sindhu has been at her menacing best, playing her aggressive style of badminton, which has borne fruit in Rio Olympics so far. Besides his powerful game, she has been deft at the net, and add her improved defence, Sindhu has not showed any signs of weakness.
Despite a brilliant performance from Sindhu in Rio, the Indian star cannot take it lightly in Rio as she comes up against two-time reigning world champion Carolina Marin. The Spaniard has a brilliant game, and what makes her a strong contender is her all-round game.
Marin is comfortable at the net as well as the baseline. Her half-smashes and her tactical game will be something, which needs to be dealt by the Indian in the final. Make no mistake, she also possess a deadly smash, which can floor any player in the world. More so, her defence on the court is second to none. It is such skills, which has helped her attain the world number one ranking and become the world champion in 2014 and 2015.
Marin enjoys a superior head-to-head record over Sindhu, who has lost four times in the past, and only won twice. But this should not be a concern for the Indian, who had an inferior record against Wang and Okuhara also, but Sindhu played a brilliant match to defeat them in straight games.
Sindhu is aware of the huge threat, which Marin brings to the court on Friday. The Indian shuttler has set her heart on winning gold medal for India.
"My target will be to win the gold and I will give my heart out. I feel I really worked hard each and every time. Everybody's aim is to get a medal at the Olympics, one more match to go. Definitely I feel that I've a chance," PTI quoted Sindhu as saying.
"It's nothing like pressure. It's just that I have to give my 100 per cent. There's one more match to go, I'm really prepared for tomorrow's match. It's not going to be easy. She is a really tough opponent. It's the Olympic final, and she's playing really well. It depends who gives her best and does well will win the final tomorrow."
The match between the two top shuttle players is going to be a close affair, and the gold medal may be determined by Sindhu's aggression or Marin's rock-solid defence.
Where to watch live
PV Sindhu vs Carolina Marin Rio Olympics final is scheduled for 6:55 p.m IST (10:55 a.m local time, 2:25 a.m BST, 9:25 a.m ET) start. The timings of the match may change depending on earlier matches.
India: TV:Star Sports 2/HD. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
UK and Ireland: TV:BBC. Live Streaming:BBCiPlayer.
Japan: TV: NHK, ETV
Chinese Taipei: TV : Chunghwa Telecom
Indonesia: TV: NEXMEDIA, SCTV
Middle East Countires TV:BeIN Sports. Live streaming:BeIN Sports Connect
Brazil: TV:SporTV, Globo, Fox Sports and ESPN.
Argentina: TV:ESPN and DirecTV. Live Streaming:ESPN Play Latin America.
Australia: TV:Channel 7, 7Two and 7Mate. Live Streaming:Channel 7 online.