Hyderabad: Riding high on the success of back-to-back titles in Singapore Open Super Series and Thailand Open, State shuttler B Sai Praneeth is confident of a good show in the World Championships scheduled to start from August 21 at Glasgow in Scotland. He oozes confidence saying he can defeat any one on his day.
The 24-year-old Hyderabadi is leaving no stone unturned to make his first outing in the mega event a memorable one. Under the watchful eyes of Indonesian coach Mulyo Handoyo, he is putting extra effort in the long training sessions at the SAI-Gopichand Badminton Academy.
My goal is to win a medal in this event. I don’t think any player is unbeatable. If I play to my potential, I can defeat anyone. — B Sai Praneeth.
The good thing for him is that he got a good six weeks to train for this event. “Preparations are going on in full swing. We have been practicing since six weeks for this tournament. So we have enough preparations and the whole team is fit and raring to go,” he says.
He feels that the big change in his game came at the start of the year when he underwent intensive training in February and March. “I had two good months of preparations before playing in Singapore and Thailand. So those two months’ hard work paid off and helped me become a better player. The long sessions with the Indonesian coach did also produce results immediately. It made us stronger and the improved fitness levels allowed us to play longer matches,” he explains.
B Sai Praneeth further adds that he is currently going through the best phase of career and that will give him confidence for the big tournament. “Right now I am playing my best game. This will definitely help me. Never in my life had I won two back-to-back tournaments. I am in my best shape now.”
Praneeth says despite this being his maiden World Championship there is no pressure on him. “I agree it is a World Championship. But I am treating it as any other tournament. I don’t have any extra pressure on me,” he says.
Talking about his tough draw, he says every match is important for him. “Given the kind of tough draw, every match is crucial. If I manage to get past the first two rounds, I will face World No. 6 Chou Tien Chen. That could be a tough match.”
Sai Praneeth adds the game is not becoming more attacking with the advent of 11-point format in Premier Badminton League. “I don’t think it is becoming more attacking now. The Chinese players or Taipei players still bank on long rally games. So there are both kinds of players. But the advantage with the league is we get to train with the coaches of top players like Carolina Marin and get to learn few things in practice. Apart from that, the PBL is not going to affect the overall game,” he concludes.