Fresh from the biggest success (China Open Super Series) of his career so far, Kidambi Srikanth exudes immense confidence as he gears up for the badminton Super Series Masters Finals in Dubai where the top eight singles players of the world vie for the biggest prize money of the year. “I really have a chance,” said the confident 21-year-old. He thus becomes the first Indian to take part in the men’s event at this prestigious year-end tournament. Excerpts...
On being the first Indian in the men’s section
There is a lot of excitement. The top eight players of the world will fight for honours. It is indeed a great feeling to be the first Indian male player to participate in this tournament. I just want to focus on my game and give my best.
On his newfound confidence
It was a huge thing. The win has really made me belief that I could win a big tournament like the China Open. My confidence is high after that success. It was a special feeling. I have had a good 2-1/2 weeks of practice to prepare myself.
I don’t want to take any pressure. I want to play my normal game. Now that I have broken into top ten, I need to perform consistently.
On the Chinese threat and beating Lin Dan
The Chinese will always be a threat. But we are also ready for that challenge. Beating Lin Dan (my idol) in China was the best thing. It is a special feeling when you beat a Chinese on their home turf.
On his ranking
The ranking will improve once you perform. I want to be an aggressive player. I love to work hard. My day starts at 3.30 am and I’m ready on the court by 4.30 am. This regimen has been there for years. Gopi sir has been my mentor and guide.