PV Sindhu could find her reign as World Champion lasts three years, although it is not an honour that she necessarily wants.
That is the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Championships are held annually, except in an Olympic year. That means that she would normally be expected to defend her title in 2021, except that now looks unlikely. That is because with the deferral of the Tokyo Olympics until next summer, there seems little chance of staging the BWF finals as well.
And, although theoretically the BWF could opt to switch their championships back to this year, that is highly improbable, given the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Sindhu, who won an Olympic silver medal in 2016 at the Rio Games, became the first Indian to win a badminton World Championship last August in Basel, Switzerland, when the beat the Japanese player Nozomi Okuhara in the final. It was sweet revenge for Sindhu as she had been beaten by the same women in an epic battle in the final two years earlier in Glasgow.
If Sindhu’s reign is to continue, it comes, ironically enough, when she is in one of the worse patches of form in her career, suffering a string of early defeats in ranking tournaments since that triumph in Switzerland. Part of that dip in form has been attributed to the departure, soon afterwards, of her South Korean coach, Kim Ju Hyun, who resigned last September for personal reasons after her husband suffered a stroke.
Without her presence at the side of the court, Sindhu has appeared to struggle, so the enforced break from the sport could have come at a good time for her, allowing her time to regroup.
The player herself is still in quarantine, after returning from the All England Championships on March 15th, That spell was due to end on March 28th,but she has been asked to extend it by a week by the local authorities because of her recent travel history.