PV Sindhu, India's latest badminton sensation
Sports runs through her veins and that is due to the fact that P. V. Ramana and P. Vijaya - both former volleyball players - are Sindhu's proud parents. Infact, her father was a national player and recipient of the prestigious Arjuna Award.
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu, or better known as P.V. Sindhu, created Indian badminton history on August 9, 2013 after a 21-18, 21-17 win over former world no.1 Shixian Wang of China in the world championships. The victory ensured her a bronze as she booked a place in the last four.
The 18-year-old from Hyderabad, not only eclipsed her much fancied Chinese opponents in the pre-quarters and quarters but also overshadowed India's number 1 Saina Nehwal, who made a quarter-final exit at the world championships.
Unfortunately she lost her semifinal clash against Thailand's world no.3 Ratchanok Intanon the next day 10-21, 13-21 and missed out on a chance to play in the final. It would have been her shot at the gold medal in her world championships appearance and be assured of at least a silver.
While Saina's game has been on the downward spiral in 2013 with the London Olympic bronze medallist not winning any major tournament this year, Sindhu has been on constant rise. She won her maiden Grand Prix title with the Malaysian Open win in 2013. She beat Singapore's Juan Gu by 21-17,17-21,21-19 in the final.
Sports run through her veins and that is due to the fact that P. V. Ramana and P. Vijaya - both former volleyball players - are Sindhu's proud parents. Infact, her father was a national player and recipient of the prestigious Arjuna Award.
The latest Indian sensation started early at a tender age of eight and worked hard with the great Late Mir Mahboob Ali, who also schooled Saina in her early years, at the badminton courts of the Indian Railway Institute, Secunderabad.
Sindhu then moved on to Pullela Gopichand's academy soon after. While talking about the future prospects of young Indian, Gopichand had once said: "Sindhu looks the most promising among the youngsters. She is very strong and has the game that is required to excel at the international level."
Sindhu inculcated the habit of winning in her formative years itself lifting several titles in the under-10, under-13 and under-14 categories. At the international level, Sindhu's first big break came at the 2009 Sub-Junior Asian Badminton Championships held in Colombo, with a bronze medal.
She then reached the quarterfinals of the 2010 Junior World Badminton Championships held in Mexico and got noticed for national side at a young age of 15 when she got selected for the Uber Cup, women's team competition, in 2010.
It has been a journey worth mention since then.
On 7 July 2012, she won Asia Youth Under-19 Championship beating Japan's Nozomi Okuhara in final by 18-21, 21-17, 22-20. In 2012 only, her biggest triumph came when she stunned London 2012 Olympics gold medallist Li Xuerui of China in the Li Ning China Masters Super Series tournament, beating her 21-19, 9-21, 21-16, to enter the semis. Eventually Sindhu lost to another Chinese, 4th seeded Jiang Yanjiao, 10-21, 21-14, 19-21 in the semifinals.
In the India Grand Prix Gold event 2012, she made it to the finals without dropping a game but lost out to Indonesian Linda Weni Fanetri for 21-15, 18-21, 21-18.
Sindhu's maiden Grand Prix Gold title came with the Malaysian Open win in 2013 with a 21-17,17-21,21-19 win over Singapore Juan Gu. Sindhu is currently ranked 12 in the world.