Step onto the court of dreams with the rhythmic beats of a shuttlecock dancing through the air as we venture on a journey with the trailblazing force of Indian Badminton, the dazzling PV Sindhu. In the court where sweat mingles with passion, and every smash is a testament to grit, Sindhu’s story unfolds a symphony of skill, determination, and the soulful pursuit of victory. Join us as we dive into the heartbeat of a badminton maestro, where each stroke is a brushstroke on the canvas of her illustrious career.
ex : How does it feel to be an inspiration for so many aspiring badminton players around the world?
PV Sindhu : It feels good because many people take me as an inspiration and look up to me. When I was young, I used to look up to many people and wanted to be there someday. And today, when I’m there, and people look up to me, it feels terrific to know once upon a time, I was also one of them.
ex : Badminton requires quick reflexes and decision making, so is it safe to conclude you are a fast decisionmaker in everyday life?
PV : On court, yes, because we have to make decisions very quickly as we don’t have much time to think about it. We’ve to change in a second, no matter what happens, because you keep playing rallies, but in between the rallies, you have time to think, and we change the game accordingly. When I’m offcourt, I definitely take some time.
ex : You have a lot of silent power when you play, just like the XC60, you manage to stay calm and collected in high pressure situations. How do you do that?
PV : I go into the match thinking that I need to give my best because that’s what I’ve trained for. And I won’t deny that there won’t be pressure. Yes, there will be pressure, but we’ll have to stop thinking about others or what others are thinking. You have to go into the court thinking that you have to play your game and give you 100%. You have to focus on one point at a time and not think about the match because anything can happen at any moment. If you’re leading, you can’t think that the match is in your favour, or if you’re failing, you can’t think the match is done. So, every point is important, and you have to be focused and play your game.
ex : It’s too early to ask, but post-badminton, do you have any plans in mind?
PV : I feel there are many more years to go, and after that, I have a job as a Deputy Collector in the Andhra Pradesh Government. I’m also constructing a sports school cum academy in Vizag on the land the state government gifted me when I won an Olympic medal.
ex : Badminton has seen technological advancements like shuttlecock sensors. How do you think technology has impacted the sport?
PV : I think it’s good to have something innovative and new. Recently, while I was playing, there was a robot who was doing the shuttle control. Also, during a recent tournament, robots were helping us with carrying our bags as well as the shuttle cocks. So when we want to take a new shuttle cock, we can just take it from the robot, and then it replaces with a new one.
ex : One thing that you would like to change about professional badminton?
PV : I would like to improve a few things, like helping prospective talents to have good coaches, and it should start from the grassroots levels. I know there is support and talent, but we must go to the places, cities, as well as rural areas. And once it starts from the grassroots levels, there will be a lot of people coming forward.
ex : Can you tell us about your favourite badminton memory or match that has left a lasting impact on your career?
PV : Yes, winning a medal at the Rio Olympics 2016 is one of my favourite badminton memories, and there are some sad ones too, when I was injured in 2015 and was in a state of mind where I was unsure of my comeback.
ex : The XC60 has 6 intelligent airbags and several ADAS features for a safe and secure driving experience. Given the intensity of your career, what are some measures you actively take to prevent injury and ensure your body’s safety?
PV : Injuries are part of a sportsperson’s life, and I think to avoid them at some level, you have to strengthen your body, your legs, your arms, and everything. Also, every time you’re dealing with injuries, you must heel completely before you go back to the game.
ex : What advice would you give to young athletes who aspire to reach the same heights in their respective sports?
PV : Whichever sport it is, I want them to enjoy playing and enjoy what they do. It shouldn’t be like a burden, and they shouldn’t regret it later thinking, “Oh, why didn’t I do that? Or, Why didn’t I do this?” Whatever it is, you have to give your best and enjoy playing sport. And they need to understand that it’s not just a few months of hard work. It takes lots and lots of years of hard work to come to a level.
ex : The automotive industry is shifting towards electric vehicles. Have you considered going electric for your personal transportation needs?
PV : Currently, I don’t have an electric car, and as I’m busy with training and get tired often, my dad drops me to the court and picks me up when I’m done. But in future, I would definitely consider buying an electric car as it is good for the environment.
It feels good because many people take me as an inspiration and look up to me. When I was young, I used to look up to many people and wanted to be there someday.
ex : If you could compete against any historical badminton player, living or not, who would it be?
PV Sindhu : I would love to play with Lin Dan (Chinese former badminton player). I’ve played with him, but I would love to play with him again. And if I’ll have to change something, it would be the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, when I played with Carolina and got silver.
ex : In a parallel universe where you’re not a badminton superstar, what do you think you’d be doing as a career?
PV : When I was young, I thought of becoming a doctor, but now I would say Badminton is much better.
ex : If a movie is being made, whom would you like to see portraying you on-screen, except Deepika Padukone?
PV : Honestly, I don’t have a particular name apart from Deepika Padukone, but I would love to see someone who knows how to play badminton and understand sports. I said Deepika because she’s tall-lean, has an athletic body and was a badminton player earlier. At the same time, Prakash sir is my mentor now and being his daughter, she knows what it takes to be a badminton player.
ex : What is your favourite tournament location?
PV : St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland, where I won The World Championship in 2019.
ex : Describe Volvo XC60 in three words.
PV : Comfortable, beautiful, and very spacious.