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Indian star PV Sindhu hits the jackpot

Pusarla V Sindhu of India in action during Celcom Axiata Badminton Malaysia Open 2018 at Bukit Jalil Stadium, Kuala Lumpur on June 27, 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by How Foo Yeen/Getty Images)
by William Kings, AIPS Badminton Commission Chairman

London, August 27, 2018 - Indian badminton star PV Sindhu, the 2016 Olympic Games and TOTAL BWF 2017 and 2018 World Championships silver medallist, hit the jackpot this week when she burst into the tennis-dominated Forbes List of top sportswomen.

The 23-year-old from Hyderabad, who also won womenís singles silver at this yearís Commonwealth Games, is seventh in the latest list of high earners behind none other than No. 1 Serena Williams.

Williams is the top earner among eight female tennis players in the Forbes List top 10 after she netted $18.1m (£14m) between June 2017 and June 2018. That comes out at $161,964.81 (£126,000) a week!

But Sindhu can be more than satisfied with the $8.5m (£6.6m) she has pocketed. Racing driver Danica Patrick, the only other non-tennis player in the top 10, came ninth just ahead of Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in this latest list of high earners.

What makes Sindhuís earning capacity a little surprising is that she is currently only at No.5 on the BWFís 2018 womenís singles money list with a relatively meagre 59,375 US dollars in prize money compared to Chinese Taipeiís No.1 Tai Tzu Ying on $246,050.

But Sindhuís winnings so far this year are still more than Chinaís superstar Lin Dan (sixth in the menís list on $49,500) while Tai Tzu Ying has banked more than double the top menís singles prize money earner Shi Yuqi ($119,775).

So what contributes to Sindhuís amazing $8.5m? Sponsors like Bridgestone Tyres, sports drink Gatorade, household brands like Nokia and Panasonic as well as the Bank of Baroda, a health produce and a fashion chain, not forgetting the BWF car she was rewarded with for her Olympic silver medal. Appropriately Sachin Tendulkar made the presentation as her favourite sport - apart from badminton - is cricket.

What an inspiration Pusarla Venkata Sindhu is to any young women wanting to follow in her badminton footsteps. She is modest, approachable and friendly and, right now, very, very marketable... even more so if she can strike gold at the Asian Games currently taking place in Jakarta.

Whatever the outcome, she is demonstrating that the image and perception of badminton continues to change dramatically. A large global TV audience and a strong HSBC-backed BWF World Tour is, as I am sure Sindhu will agree, making the sport and its players more exciting and marketable than ever before.

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