P V Sindhu knows life will only get tougher with rising expectations after her World Championship bronze medal but the young Indian shuttler says she is ready to put in the hard yards to reach the pinnacle of her sport one day.
"I should not take it easy from now on. It is getting tougher and tougher each day. There are experienced players, Saina (Nehwal), Tine Baun and the Chinese. I have just won once against them which doesn't mean that I have an upper hand. They will be coming back. Every game and every match is very important for me. I need to focus on my game," said Sindhu.
Sindhu recently defeated world number two German Juliane Schenk and three-time All England Champion Tine Baun in the Indian Badminton League.
The Hyderabadi had broken into the top 10 of world rankings in mid of August but last week, she slipped two places to lie at 12th spot but the Indian vowed to end the year within top 7.
"By the end of this year, I will surely get into top 10 and may be in top 7 or 8 by year end. It's difficult to get into the top 5 and move up but I will surely work hard for that," she said.
Asked if she sees herself as a world number one, Sindhu said: "I can't say if I could be the number one in next two years. I can't tell you the exact date and time and year but I will surely get there one day."
The Malaysia Grand Prix Gold winner said she is happy to get all the attention and is working on her defence for future tournaments.
"I am working on my defence. It is not my weak point but I need to improve more on defence. Life has changed after world championship. There is a lot of attention and it is good. I don't get irritated, we need to be feel blessed and happy for that," added Sindhu, who skipped the individual event of the PSPB Inter-unit championship. Sindhu's match against Saina Nehwal in the IBL had generated a lot of excitement and although the former lost on both occasions, the 18-year-old said she has learnt a lot from the matches.
"I was playing for the first time against Saina. We never played any match in the academy. During training, she practiced strokes and all so it was the first time. I have learnt that she was attacking and didn't give me chance to attack. She is an experienced player. She was aggressive.
"It happens sometimes that a person is leading and suddenly goes down. We really need to think and move on the next point. I am doing that but I need to do more," she said.
Asked how she will counter the top players now that she has moved to the top tier of competition, Sindhu said it would be tough but she is confident.
"My coach notes down the game of the players I am playing against. It is more about changing to the situation of the match. It is not like they know my game and so I can't win. Coaches motivate us and I have confidence that I can do well. I don't think it is easy to beat a player you have beaten before. It is actually tougher because they will know my game," Sindhu said.
Sindhu had made a shock exit from the second round of the Japan Open, losing to a qualifier Akane Yamaguchi, and the Indian said it was just not her day.
"I committed a lots of errors and mistakes, it was just not my day. She played really well. Sometimes it happens. It is not that I am playing negative always. Someday we play brilliantly and sometimes it's nothing. I felt that I could have won. I have been practicing a lot."