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Bouncebackability proving key for Sindhu

In sport, there is an old mantra that says defeat is hard to take but how you react to it is the hardest part. A new age term for it: boucebackability.

PV Sindhu is a walking, talking ambassador for such a mantra right now.

Whether the soon to be world number two is fuelled by that sweet smell of revenge or a burning desire to rebalance head to heads remains a well guarded secret that the best media training has done well to disguise.

But stats don’t lie. 
When it comes to bouncebackability, Sindhu has stacks of it.

She has beaten Carolina Marin twice since missing out to the Spaniard in the Olympic Final  – the results  in Dubai and India not totally offsetting the disappointment in Rio but certainly proving a point – to some of the critics in her homeland who raise unwarranted questions but also, you feel, to herself.

Take last Sunday in Seoul for example. Just 20 days since missing out on the World title in an epic battle with Nozomi Okuhara, Sindhu was back facing the Japanese star over the net with the Korea Open title on the line.

This time Sindhu emerged the victor after an 83-minute encounter which, whilst never quite reaching the heady heights of Glasgow, was once again high on quality.

And it felt significant - another sign that Sindhu is quick and eager to right any wrongs. Her well cited stubbornness being harnessed in the best possible fashion.

"Everybody used to say I had a rivalry with Carolina (Marin), but now maybe they’re saying it’s Okuhara.” Sindhu told the awaiting world press after being reminded that six of their last seven encounters have been titanic three-end thrillers.

And her head to head records with others around her at the top end of the women’s game shows that self same resilience.

After missing out in the Quarter Finals of the Asia Championships to He Bingjiao – reported as an upset of sorts at the time – Sindhu made sure, last week, to defeat her Chinese rival at their next meeting. Likewise Sung Yi Hyun whom won in Dubai was then dispatched at the first time of asking at the India Open whilst Sindhu is now 3-in-a-row against Akane Yamaguchi.

There are those that remain on the hitlist – if one such exists – though. Tai Tzu Ying, who was beaten during Sindhu’s solid silver charge in Rio, is since unbeaten in three against the Indian whilst Ratchanok Intanon – with a 4-1 head to head record – is proving a nemisys.

Her next challenge though is to take a big prize on the big stage rather than play the role of lady in waiting. Bouncebackability is a worthy quality to have in sport but a winning habit on the big occasion has the upper hand.