Srikanth's No. 1 target is to be at the top again

Oct 11, 2018, 11:04 IST | Subodh Mayure

Star shuttler Kidambi Srikanth recalls brief stay atop rankings in April and vows to be up there again soon

Srikanth's No. 1 target is to be at the top again
Kidambi Srikanth at an interaction in Andheri yesterday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

India's top men's singles shuttler Kidambi Srikanth made history earlier this year by becoming the first Indian male player to be ranked World No. 1 in the modern ranking era, after winning the gold medal in the mixed team event and a silver in the singles at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April. However, that high lasted for only a week and Srikanth has had a slew of inconsistent results since then, including a first round exit at the Asian Games in Indonesia.

Ready for PBL-4
With the fourth edition of the franchise-based Premier Badminton League set to begin from December 22, Srikanth, who was picked up at Sunday's player auction for R80 lakh by Bengaluru Raptors, is optimistic about regaining form and hopefully that top spot in the world. "I am working hard to get back to that World No. 1 ranking. That's my top focus and for that, I have to win tournaments or do well in every tournament," Srikanth, a Red Bull athlete, told mid-day during an interaction in Andheri yesterday.

The World No. 6 said that one week of world supremacy was the best period of his career. "That was a great one week for me. The feeling of being on top of the world is something that all players don't get to experience. It doesn't matter if it's for a week or even for a day. It's huge because I achieved that after working hard for the last 15-16 years. And it's not just my hard work but also the hard work put in by my parents, physios and coaches — it's a collective effort," said Srikanth, 25.

'Losing is a learning'
About his early exit in Jakarta, after losing 21-23, 19-21 to Hong Kong's Wong Wing Ki Vincent, Srikanth felt it wasn't too bad. "It was close. There was nothing wrong with my game. Losses should not affect a player. In fact, it should be taken positively because you can learn a lot from a loss. If you win a tournament, everyone praises you and nobody will tell you your mistakes but the moment you lose, people immediately point out your errors. So, losing helps you understand your game better," said Srikanth, who heads to the Denmark Open, beginning on October 16.

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