Nothing but the best needed at Sudirman Cup: Srikanth


NEW DELHI:  Singapore-open finalist Kidambi Srikanth feels India have been handed a tough draw at the Sudirman Cup and they will have to bring out nothing but their best to win a medal in the mixed team championship.

      “I feel we have a really tough draw as we are up against Indonesia and Denmark. I think these are one of the strong teams. So it won’t be easy but if it is our day then we can win,” Srikanth, who along with Ajay Jayaram and HS Prannoy will be handling the responsibility of the men’s singles, said.

     “India is part of the top 8 teams and all these teams are very strong but I feel we need to prepare ourself to play at that level and that is the only option, can’t think about the matches and draw. We have to bring out the best we can,” he added.

       A final finish at Singapore Open sealing his World Championship berth, Srikanth says he needs to curb his inconsistency to return with a medal from Glasgow.

      After two title-winning performance at 2014 China Open and 2015 India Open that catapulted him to world number 3, Srikanth slipped to 31st position in March following an ankle injury he suffered post Rio Olympics. However, the Indian bounced back to reach the finals at Singapore Super Series last month.

     “I am happy with the way I came back from the injury, I mean to comeback and play at that level keeps me motivated. Luckily I qualified for World Championship too so I am really looking forward to the event,” Srikanth.

       “There are many tournaments before I play at the World Championship so it would be very important for me to get the important match practice because I have been out of the international level.

     “For me, playing consistently in the next few events is the target. World Championship is one of the most important tournament. So I really want to play well there and win a medal.

     “I was third seeded in 2015 and Lee Chong Wei wasn’t seeded and I was set to play him early and this time I hope such things don’t happen again. I am really focussed on winning a medal there,” said Srikanth, whose best finish has been reaching the pre-quarters of the World Championship.

     It was in October last year when Srikanth posted a picture of his injured leg on social media site instagram.

      He was about to miss the European circuit and wanted to be back at China Open. He couldn’t make it to China but returned at Japan Open but it didn’t work out and he had to go back to work on his fitness.

      He played well in PBL but failed to defend his Syed Modi title and then crashed out early at the India Super Series.

      “For every player such lows will be there, getting injured is not in our hands, we can’t predict that. We have to forget that phase and start playing again. It took me some time to get back.

     “I have seen many of my seniors doing that, I have seen Kashyap doing that, Prannoy also did that so it is really motivating, which always reminds me that anything is possible,” he said.

     Talking about competition, Srikanth said: “I don’t know exactly about the top 10 but the top 30 is playing at the same level. Me and Sai Praneeth played at Singapore final and we are above 25, so it says it all.

     “It is all equal, its all even. You can’t predict any match and it depends how we play on that particular match. Mental toughness is very important. Every player is playing to win and you can’t play at 95 per cent and expect to win.” (AGENCIES)


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