PV Sindhu has been perhaps one of the biggest sporting icons to have emerged from India in the past decade or so. In a country where cricket has been the primary supplier of sporting heroes, Sindhu is an anomaly. Also Read - PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth And N Sikki Reddy Resume Training After Coronavirus-Forced Break
True that she is not the only Indian sport star to have found success at the global level, but none has tasted the kind of stardom both on and off the field as Sindhu has in the recent past. Of course, cricketers being the exception. Also Read - Badminton: PV Sindhu Believes Players Need To Get Used To Playing In Empty Stadiums After COVID-19 Outbreak
Her achievements on the courts have been unprecedented as far as female shuttlers of the country are concerned. Medals at the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, Olympics, and World Championships have been the highlights of her career. Add to that the dozens of titles won at the various Superseries, Grand Prix etc. across the globe. Also Read - PV Sindhu Reveals Turning Point of Her Career, Says Beating Olympic Champion Li Xuerui Gave me Confidence
Her popularity at times has rivalled to those enjoyed by a cricketer in the country. A testament to it is the fact that Sindhu found herself among the top earning female sportstar across the globe in 2019.
The annual rankings released by Forbes is usually dominated by tennis stars but Sindhu with an earning of USD 5.5 million was jointly ranked 13th – only the second non tennis star in top-13.
Out of those million dollars, 90 per cent of her income came from endorsements meaning brands have latched onto her popularity to drive their campaigns.
She has achieved all that before turning 25.
Sindhu was born to parents who were both national-level volleyball players. Badminton caught her eye at a young age and backed by the support of her family, she honed her craft further to steadily climb up to the top of the badminton world.
An elite athlete’s career is not all about highs. There are lows and certain flaws which perhaps make them humans. Sindhu’s human element reflects in her inconsistency – 2019 being the prime example when after becoming the first Indian to clinch gold from the world championships, she failed to make the last stages of several tournaments and, also couldn’t defend her title at the WTA Tour finals.
Her next target is to convert her silver medal from the Rio Olympics into gold when Tokyo Games are finally held next year.
Provided she manages to maintain her fitness and bring in some consistency, with age on her side, a historic Olympic gold is a real possibility.
On that note, here’s wishing the queen of Indian badminton a very happy birthday.