Sindhu shifted to PPBA for a week in August before the Asian Games after a slew of poor outings this year.
As she has been recovering from a left knee injury and set the beginning of 2024 as her possible date for return to the court, the 28-year-old announced her decision to move to PPBA. Sindhu, ranked 11th in the world, has also opted for a protected ranking recently.
“For those wondering and constantly asking me, the cat is finally out of the bag!! Prakash sir is assuming the role of the mentor in my setup,” Sindhu wrote on X on Saturday by posting a photograph of her receiving inputs from Padukone.
“I started training with him at the end of August, and it’s been uphill ever since. He’s more than a mentor; he’s my guide, my guru, and, above all, a true friend. I wholeheartedly believe he possesses the magic to bring out the absolute best from my game,” the two-time Olympic medallist added.
Sindhu, a 2019 World Championships gold medallist, also extended her gratitude to Padukone for being her guiding force. “I am so grateful he reached out to me with one call when I was in Japan, and we’ve built on that connection exceptionally well,” revealed Sindhu.
Though Sindhu had made a very poor start to 2023 after recovering from an ankle injury sustained at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022, she has shown signs of progress by making two consecutive semifinal finishes at the Arctic Open and Denmark Open. She also reached the final of Madrid Spain Masters.
Padukone, meanwhile, talking about the new partnership with The Indian Express, revealed their targets.
“Long-term goal is the Olympic gold. Nothing less than that. Along the way try to win the All-England title as well since I believe it is one of the toughest tournaments on the circuit,” said Padukone, a 1980 All-England Open champion.
Inicidently, Sindhu parted ways with her childhood coach Pullela Gopichand before the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Sindhu’s majority of success, including the Rio Olympics silver and Worlds gold, came under the tutelage Gopichand.