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Excellence her forte

Excellence her forte
Highlights

There seems to be no stopping the PV Sindhu juggernaut. Disproving all notions that India’s latest poster girl is inconsistent, she has been enjoying a phenomenal roller-coaster run at the very top,

There seems to be no stopping the PV Sindhu juggernaut. Disproving all notions that India’s latest poster girl is inconsistent, she has been enjoying a phenomenal roller-coaster run at the very top, right from the time she created history with a silver medal at Rio, a year ago. Perhaps bolstered by the Olympic success, she has been consistently brilliant and the player to beat in whichever tournament she enters.

On Sunday she paraded with gay abandon that bit of extra flair she has perfected with a clinical execution of her nemesis, the top ranked Spaniard Carolina Marin 21-19, 21-16 to annex the India Open SuperSeries title in New Delhi. This has inarguably been a momentous outing for the 21-year-old because her achievements come in the backdrop of three sensational conquests in back-to-back matches. If she put to shade the proven calibre of Saina Nehwal in the quarterfinals, she had no qualms in upsetting the applecart of second seeded Sung ji-Hyun to book a deserving final slot.

That she gained sweet revenge over Marin must delight her more because the Spaniard destroyed her Olympic golden ambitions with rare nonchalance. If critics gave Sindhu no chance against Marin, the Hyderabad girl came up with a virtuoso performance given her complete domination of the title clash that was reduced to an anti-climax. She is the third India apart from Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth to have won the India Open earlier. Incidentally, they registered an India sweep in 2015. With the latest triumph, there is no denying that the legend of Sindhu has been gaining the sort of dexterity that no Indian shuttler has been able to master.

If China Open was her maiden SuperSeries success last November, the India Open crown is Sindhu's second title of the year after the Syed Modi International Grand Prix Gold January.

So awesome has been her showing of late that she seems to getting fiercer with each match and that is what makes her so formidable an opponent. Blending aggression and touch artistry has become a characteristic trait, one that is becoming more pronounced and sounds the death-knell for players ranked higher than her.

Coming to the great Indian debate as to who is superior between Nehwal and Sindhu, the younger player is gradually positioning herself to a higher level and scaling heights that the Haryanvi native could not at 21 years of age. Of course, none can discount the breathtaking abilities of the injury-prone Nehwal, who now trains under Vimal Kumar in Bangalore. She has been the face of Indian badminton and one who inspired thousands of young girls to take to badminton. She remains an inspirational icon, the latest career setbacks and losses to Sindhu, notwithstanding. Their on-court rivalry is a good augury for the country because it can pep up the popularity of the sport in a country, which has hardly produced any world champions, who dominated the sport for long periods. One should give it to the optimism of Pullela Gopichand, who declared that in a couple of seasons India could boast of many more Sainas and Sindhus.

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