Hyderabad’s ace shuttler P.V. Sindhu is on the verge of creating history. She needs one more win to assure herself of a medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games. If she does it, she will be the first sportsperson from Hyderabad, male or female, to win two medals at the Olympic Games. She had won a silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016. But her opponent in the semi final is the formidable Tai Tzu Ying, who according to veteran coach S.M. Arif, is the most deceptive player in the world right now.
Speaking to siasat.com, S.M.Arif said: “I am very happy to see that Sindhu has advanced to the semi finals. But she has to be extremely careful against the clever Tai Tzu Ying. That girl from Chinese Taipei is the most deceptive player in the world. She plays a beautiful game often sending the wrong signal to her opponent. Sindhu has to be alert every second,” he said.
“To top it all, Tai is also a very fast player and Sindhu has to be able to out perform her in this department. Sindhu must keep hassling her with hard smashes. She should keep her moving all the time from one end to another and not allow Tai to settle down to play her deceptive game. Sindhu knows what has to be done against Tai because she has beaten Tai in the past. But Tai always comes up with a new bag of tricks and this is what Sindhu has to watch out for,” said Arif.
“I don’t know what strategy Sindhu and her coach will go in for during the semi final. But I would say that Sindhu must go in for sheer speed. Sindhu has to mount pressure on Tai and keep up the pressure throughout the match. Today Sindhu’s opponent Yamaguchi seemed a little out of form. Both players mistimed their smashes. They had to go in for half smashes. But in the other quarterfinal I saw that Tai was at her best,” explained Arif.
“Tai overcame Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand with ease once she got her game going. Although Ratchanok won the first game, the way Tai took control of the match thereafter, was awesome. I feel that Tai will be a very difficult opponent to beat. But if Sindhu plays her cards right, she will come out as the winner in the semifinal battle too. I wish her best of luck,” said Arif.
As the records go, Tai has beaten Sindhu on 13 occasions while Sindhu has beaten Tai 5 times. But badminton lovers in Hyderabad and all over India, will be hoping that the Indian star will get her tactics right and will come out as the winner of their battle in Tokyo.
Abhijit Sen Gupta is a seasoned journalist who writes on Sports and various other subjects.