Badminton: Sindhu says 'more to come' after beating Singapore's Liang

India's PV Sindhu celebrates after she beat China's Sun Yu in the final of the China Open Badminton tournament in Fuzhou on Nov 20, 2016.
India's PV Sindhu celebrates after she beat China's Sun Yu in the final of the China Open Badminton tournament in Fuzhou on Nov 20, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (AFP) - India's P.V. Sindhu vowed there was "more to come" after she proved her Olympic success was no flash in the pan by winning her first Superseries badminton title.

Sindhu continued her winning ways at the Hong Kong Open on Friday, fighting past Singapore's Liang Xiaoyu, 21-17, 21-23, 21-18 to reach the semi-finals.

Last week, Sindhu beat Sun Yu to claim the China Open Superseries title, three months after she became the first Indian woman to win an individual Olympic silver medal.

"This is only the start for me," the world number nine told AFP at the Hong Kong Coliseum stadium, where she racked up her eighth straight win on Friday.

"There's only more to come." The next opponent for Sindhu, 21, could be compatriot Saina Nehwal, who had been India's most prominent badminton star after she won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics.

Sindhu exceeded Nehwal by winning silver, a result which catapulted her to fame in India with congratulations from the prime minister and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.

"I didn't expect it," Sindhu said of her silver medal.

"Yes of course my dream was to get a medal at the Olympics. It would be anybody's dream."

But Nehwal, who is returning from knee surgery and plays Hong Kong's Cheung Ngan-yi in the quarter-finals later, warned of the pitfalls that can come with fame in India.

Successful athletes are under huge pressure to keep winning, while also remaining perfect role models, she said.

"It's quite a huge burden," said Nehwal. "The Indian public gets very much attached to you when you accomplish something great and if you lose they are going to criticise you in a bad way.

"But if you win, you are everywhere." Well-known female athletes are small in number in India, with Sindhu, Nehwal and boxer Mary Kom among the few examples.