Ahead of Tokyo 2020, PV Sindhu draws inspiration from Cristiano Ronaldo!

The badminton ace also admires the class and elegance of Serena Williams and Roger Federer
By Soham Mukherjee

Numerous athletes across the world have time and again expressed their awe and admiration for the Portuguese football legend Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 36-year-old footballer recently won the Golden Boot at Euro 2020 courtesy of his five goals and one assist and shows no signs of slowing down.

Indian badminton ace PV Sindhu is another drawing inspiration from the footballer before she begins her charge for a second successive Olympic medal at Tokyo 2020.

"I don’t have words, the way he (Ronaldo) plays, the skill, the technique he has is tremendous," she told Olympics.com before flying to Tokyo.

Apart from Ronaldo, she also looks up to two tennis legends in Serena Williams and Roger Federer. Both of them are arguably the greatest to grace the sport and Sindhu wants to emulate their perseverance and longevity.

Serena Williams, 39, has won 23 Grand Slam titles and famously won the 2017 Australian Open while she was pregnant. Roger Federer, also 39, is still playing at the top level and recently reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

"Serena believes she can do it, being a woman, being a mother. She’s done exceptionally well, she’s a strong woman. Whereas, Federer, is another legend. Maintaining that level till now, at his age, is not easy. He’s been there at the top," she expressed.

Serena Williams posing with Roger Federer
Picture by 2019 Getty Images

Sindhu will start her Olympic campaign against Israel's Polikarpova Ksenia on July 25 at court 2 of the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza BDM. She has already reached Tokyo and is gearing up for the training sessions in the capital city. In the run-up to the Olympics, she had been practicing at the Gachibowli Stadium in Hyderabad and was following a very stringent routine.

"My training sessions started at 7. By the time I am done with my cooling and stretching it’s about 9:30," she revealed.

In the afternoon, her training resumed around 2-2:30, and after sweating out for a couple of hours she would hit the gym at the Suchitra Academy.

"It almost takes two hours to complete my gym. Every day is different, sometimes we do endurance, running, some agility exercises, explosive, weight sessions. By the time I finish everything, I come back home it's like 7-7:30."

After returning home, she likes to spend with her dog and niece which is a stress buster for her.

Sindhu is undoubtedly one of India's biggest medal hopes in Tokyo. She has been in fine form in 2021 and reached the finals and semifinals of the Swiss Open and the All England Open respectively. However, since the Malaysian Open and Singapore Open got canceled, she did not have the luxury to get competitive minutes since March.

The Olympic silver medallist is confident that it will not hamper her chances in the mega event.

"I understand a lot of people are saying we are lacking match time. But I don’t feel that because we made such a scenario, such a situation, almost like match play. The Gachibowli stadium is almost like the Japan stadium, it is big, the air-conditioning, the shuttle control, and everything.

"I get shuttlers from Suchitra Academy and make sure we have match play, we are creating situations like how Tai Tzu-ying plays or Ratchanok (Intanon) plays. You create that scenario. Coach is there to tell me, dad is always there to tell me if I’m making any mistakes," she explained.

Sindhu came back with a silver in Rio, and now five years later, she will be training her sights on gold in Tokyo.