Hyderabad: Kidambi Srikanth has witnessed the highs and lows in the last two years. In 2017, he was on a roll as he became the first Indian to win four Super Series titles. The 26-year-old’s fortunes began to fluctuate in 2018 before injuries played havoc with his game and confidence.
Srikanth is on a comeback trial and he feels it is important to stay injury-free as this is an Olympic qualification year. As he gets ready for the World Championship in Basel (Switzerland), which starts from Monday, Srikanth says he is feeling good for the big tournament.
“It is about enjoying my game. I want to see it as match by match. I am feeling good. It is always important to be in the game. It is an Olympic qualification year and I would like to focus on my game. I need to keep cool and play my natural game. I would like to perform in every tournament. I have to handle the pressure and I have to keep it simple,” said Srikanth.
Srikanth said that he had a good preparation for the World championship. “The two weeks were good and it has put me in a good frame of mind. I am looking forward to step on to the court.” The Indian shuttler added that he has a fair draw in Basel. “The last time I played in Basel was in 2015 when I won the Grand Prix tournament there. I don’t know about the conditions now. But for any player it is all about adjusting to the conditions quickly.”
Srikanth, who is presently ranked tenth in the world, said that he would like to be more consistent. “It is a process. My immediate priority would be to be in top four and that would give me more confidence before the Olympics next year.” As for his strategies in World Championship, he said would like to play according to the situation. “The world badminton has evolved and there are a lot of different strategies. A lot of planning goes into the game. Every player tries to meet the challenges in a different way. The players look for perfection in their own style. It is always important to keep changing your style.”
Srikanth asserted he is still an aggressive player. “I will continue to play my attacking style of play but I have to focus on my shot selection. It will be more of a matured aggression.” The Indian shuttler said the standard of the game has improved. “There is aggression and at the same the defence has also improved. You have to be smart on the court, trying to deceive your opponent. Players adapt to different strategies. The fitness plays a big role. Speed and endurance as usual are important for any player. The technology has also helped the players to improve their game. It is more of a guessing game as players try to outwit each other. The intensity in badminton has gone up.”
He said at present, Kento Momota, Chou Tien Chen and Viktor Axelsen have been playing top class game. “Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei are legends of the game. They had played highly skillful game. Their speed and defence were amazing during their peak. They have left a mark and they have been inspiration to many young players.”