When one talks about Indian medal contenders in the field of badminton for Rio Olympics, Saina Nehwal is one star, who is talked about highly. But another women's singles player PV Sindhu is equally dangerous when on song. The 21-year-old from Hyderabad has all the ammunition in her bag to win that all-elusive medal from Brazil provided she shows great consistency in the competition.
Sindhu may blow hot and cold in a matter of minutes, which is a major drawback of the ninth seed. But when she gets her A game going, Sindhu could be even more dangerous than some of the top-ranked shuttlers of the world.
Sindhu loves to play an aggressive brand of badminton, which can topple even the best of the players with her powerful smashes. Add to it, her game at the net has been constantly improving. The ninth seed, who is heading for her maiden Olympics, is in a confident mood as she has defeated some world-class stars like Li Xuerui, Carolina Marin and Tai Tzu Ying in the past.
"There is no particular person who is a favourite. Anybody can beat anyone and it is all about giving your best on that day. I have beaten all of them in the past and it gives me confidence but then it gets tougher and tougher as we play them again because they know our strokes and we know there game, so it is all about changing the strategy on the court. That would be the key," Press Trust of India quoted Sindhu as saying.
Sindhu is in a tricky group, with Hong Kong-born Canadian Michelle Li in the same pool, but she is expected to come out of the round robin stages, and face tougher competition later in the knockouts. It is at this stage, where consistency will come into play as she could run into Tai Tzu and Wang Yihan.
"It is not an easy draw. It is going to be tough from the first round itself. I've Li Michelle and another girl in my group. After the league, I think I will play Tai Tzu Ying. So it is one by one for me. She (Tai Tzu) is a difficult opponent, her game is very different from others and she has good strokes. It is not that she is unbeatable. If I am ready for it I can beat her," Sindhu said.
There is something special about this youngster, who has a habit of taking her game to the next level in major world events. This can be understood from her world championships bronze medal finishes in 2013 and 2014.
Sindhu has always remained under the shadow of Saina, but an impressive performance in Rio can help her earn fame and the confidence to become a feared shuttler in the world.