Fans have been eagerly waiting for the return of their favourite shuttler, PV Sindhu. Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, Sindhu hasn’t been seen in action as several tournaments had to be cancelled or rescheduled. Now she has planned to return to competitive action in January with the Asia tour. It has been a long way back as the last tournament she played was the All England Championships in March.

Sindhu sent shockwaves on the internet recently as her ‘I RETIRE’ post was misconstrued as a retirement post by several people. Even Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju commented that she gave a mini heartache to him. But she was in fact talking about retiring from the negativity surrounding the Covid-19 situation.

Sindhu was promoting Hindustan Unilever’s new range ‘Nature Protect’ and talked to the Hindustan Times about the product and her career.

Excerpts:-

You recently posted an ‘I retire’ post regarding Covid-19. But it was misconstrued as a retirement post by many publications. Were you surprised that even though you made it clear in the subsequent images that it is related to Covid, organisations were quick to judge it as a retirement post?

I actually gave a mini heartache to everybody. But I meant to say that I Retire from the negativity and just wanted to make sure everybody should be hygienic and safe. In this Covid-world, we have to make sure that our surroundings are safe. I saw and I asked everybody to please read the full post. Later on, people really understood, otherwise, people were like what is going on, what is happening.

We have seen a lot of people talk about the Covid-19 period changing a lot of people’s perspectives. Did you see any changes in yourself or new perspectives being formed by you during the tough period from March to June or July when everything was shut down?

It’s not like a new perspective but it has definitely changed a lot. It has changed from where we used to be super busy, to where we are like staying home and spending a lot of time with family. These many years playing tournaments it was a continuous schedule but this was a period where I spent most of the time at home. I even had enough time to train and learn different skills. It is a different thing altogether which is a positive and a negative. I do missed badminton and now I waiting for the tournaments to start.

Why have you chosen to endorse this new brand by HUL?

It is a unique product, especially for me it really connects as I travel a lot and go to different countries. This product has a 360-degree approach as when I train and hit my racquet on surfaces I use the spray. And I use the wipes to clean my kitbag as I place it in different places And also the surface cleaners as when I go and sit at benches I make sure the hygiene is maintained and it is safe. Talking about the vegetable cleaner, it is really important to clean them in this situation. This really connects to me. I used it and I really liked it.

You are aiming to return for the Asia tour. What are your expectations from yourself after so many months out of competitive action?

It is going to be different obviously and Asia Tour will be my first tournament after a couple of months. I am sure every player would have learned different skills or would have a different mindset. So basically it’s like we have to see and it is not going to be easy for anyone. I feel that I am in good form and I will improvise my strokes and my game skills. So I am forward to it.

What was the issue you were facing in the national camp? You had to fly to England for your nutrition and recovery training. Why did you choose to do that?

It was nothing like that. I just went for this Gatorade thing which is where I am doing my sports analysis and nutrition. I was waiting for this for a long time now. I had a tough and busy schedule so couldn’t go there. I felt that this was the right time and opportunity because I don’t have any tournaments. I felt that was the right opportunity.

How has training been different in the covid-19 period?

Initially, when we couldn’t train at camps, my trainer used to give me a schedule. Once we started, it took a couple of weeks to get back to the form. After so many months of not playing we need that hit and we need to connect the shuttle. It took me some time and then we had regular sessions back again. Now everything is fine and perfect.

Do u have a favourite product from the range that helps you the most?

I use the spray and wipes a lot. As I train and keep kitbags on surfaces, it is very important.

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