She has come a long way. From a 16-year-old watching Saina Nehwal win the 2012 London Olympics bronze to being tipped along with Saina as two of India’s best bets in the women’s singles for a medal in next month’s Rio Olympics.“The biggest dream I am chasing now is an Olympic medal. I remember watching Saina in London. Then I was ranked World No. 25. I always longed to be there and I am all excited to represent India in Rio,” said Sindhu, ranked 10th in the world now.“It is not just about dreaming and making a token appearance. The intention is to come back with a medal, though we are all aware that it is not going to be easy,” she said.For someone who braved a foot injury and has a special foot sole to ensure that there is no relapse of the bone injury she suffered in 2015, Sindhu said that the whole effort was to ensure a complete improvement of her game. “You have to be at your best in every aspect of the game for the top guns will be there in Olympics,” she said.The two-time World championship bronze medallist is aware that every player on the circuit knows his or her rival’s game. “The ability to adapt to a given strategy on the court with high-level reaction speed and being prepared to unravel your own game-plan for a specific opponent in any scenario will be the key to success,” she said. “For sure, not even the lower-ranked players will come to Olympics and make things easy for you. You have to earn every win,” she added.On her tendency to lose to lesser-ranked players after beating big players was not something to be worried about she said. “Yes, consistency right through an event is the key. That is what coach [Gopi Chand] and I are really working on,” she said.The three-time Macau Open winner felt that being one of the two big prospects in women’s singles for an Olympic medal can be a huge motivation for her. “I don’t want to think too much in this regard. I just want to go out and play to the best of my ability,” she said.Asked to name some of the tough challengers she could face in the Olympics, Sinhu said, “World No. 8 Tai Tzu Ying can be a dangerous proposition as her game is completely different from the others. But, again, you can’t choose your opponents.“I have my own advantages and disadvantages with my height. It can work both ways. Now they [opponents] don’t really give you time to attack. So you can’t enter the court with only one game-plan.“You have to keep changing your strategies for the same players sometimes for they might not come up with the same style of play,” she added . Sindhu said that being the 2015 Denmark Open finalist (where she lost to Li Xuerui ) and winning the Macau Open last November and the Malaysian Masters early this year meant that the confidence is back, especially after the comeback from injury.“Right now I am chasing the biggest dream of my life — to win an Olympic medal,” said Sindhu before taking a break from her hectic training schedule.
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