New Delhi: Only in her second year in senior international circuit, P V Sindhu jumped to world number 27 recently and the talented youngster said she believes she can be the next Saina Nehwal of India.
Sindhu won four international challenge events in Maldavis, Indonesia, Swiss, Tata Open in Mumbai and finished runners-up in Dutch Open.
The results catapulted her from world number 151 to 27 last month and the 16-year-old said she wants to break into the top 15 by this year end.
"I want to see myself inside top 15 by the end of year. Many people have been telling me that I am the next Saina Nehwal but that won`t come easy, for that I have to practice harder. But hopefully I will be next Saina Nehwal. It is not a pressure, she is the world number five and I think I can be next," said the strapping youngster from Hyderabad.
"I practice with Saina almost everyday, we play strokes and in the morning also we train together. She tells me when I play some strokes, all the time Gopi Sir is always there to give feedback. When say I come back from some tournaments, she asks me what happened there, general talks," she added.
Sindhu skipped Asian Badminton Championship to prepare for the Yonex Sunrise India Open here and she said her priority is to do well on Wednesday.
"I was training hard for the India Open Super Series. I want to play well and give my best. I am playing the same girl, I lost to in All England in the third game 19-21 and I am hoping I can beat her this time. I am playing her third time, I lost both the previous matches closely," said Sindhu, who will take on Tzu Ying Tai of Chinese Taipei in the main draw on Wednesday.
"This year has gone well, I`ve lost some matches in international tournaments because of the lack of experience and in the coming tournaments I want to do well. Next is Malaysia. But first of all I want to play well in the first round tomorrow," Sindhu said.
"I skipped the ABC, our Indonesian coach trained us and I have been working on my strokes and endurance. Nowadays lot of endurance is important as there are more rallies," added the Indian, who loves watching Chinese Lin Dan play.
Asked how she took up to badminton, Sindhu said, "I have been playing since I was eight. It was my own interest to come into badminton. My parents are both volleyball players. First time I saw Gopi Sir playing in Hyderabad. Initially I used to practice near my home and then I told my dad."
Sindhu, who clinched the Senior National title in Bangalore in January, hoped to play more Super Series tournaments this year and continued her good work.
"I am the junior national champion and I`m also happy to win the Senior Nationals this year. Last year, I won four tournaments. I didn`t play in many Super Series, but this year I am ranked 27th, so I might get into main draw also. So this year I want to train hard and play more tournaments. Hope this year also goes well," she said.
At one stage, she was also in the running for the Olympic qualification but Sindhu said she didn`t think much as she still has time.
"I was not thinking much about that. If I am selected I would be happy but otherwise also ok, I have time," she quipped.
"I have to improve more and more. There is nothing like pressure on me, I just have to play my game. As a player I need to bring lot of variation overall, like flicks," she added.
Sindhu said her victory in Indonesia in July last year made her realise that she can beat the best in the business.
"I was surprised when I won the title in Indonesia because there was so many Indonesian players and I didn`t feel that I will win. I felt very happy," she said.
Sindhu was a bronze medallist at the 2009 Sub-Junior Asian Badminton Championships held in Colombo. At the 2010 Iran Fajr International Badminton Challenge, she won the silver medal in singles. She also reached the quarterfinals of the 2010 Junior World Badminton Championships in Mexico and was a member of India`s national team at 2010 Uber Cup.