For Pusarla Venkata Sindhu, the long wait for a real big title finally ended when she won the Maldives International Badminton Challenge women's singles title last week. A result which should clearly delight Pullela Gopichand who trains Sindhu at his Academy in Gachibowli. “She has the talent and is arguably the next best hope from the city after Saina Nehwal, to whom we can look for better results at the highest level,” always been Gopi's frequent reminder about Sindhu. “Being young, she has to definitely improve her overall game to be a force to reckon with. But, the important thing is that she is really keen and committed to put in that extra effort,” he adds.
Till recently Sindhu's father P.V. Ramana, Arjuna Awardee and former international spiker, made it a point to drop her at the Academy by 5 a.m. traversing the long stretch from Secunderabad to Gachibowli. “.
For her part, Sindhu, current World No. 202 and who had beaten higher rated players en route to Maldives Challenge triumph, is elated with her latest performance. “This should be just the right kind of tonic for me to look ahead as I feel more confident having picked my maiden international title,” says the St. Ann's College student who is with BPCL now and also sponsored by Olympic Gold Quest. “Well, the victory against World No. 52 Allegrini Agnese of Italy (21-9,21-14) in the semi-final was a huge morale booster before the final,” she recalls.