Fully-fit Kidambi Srikanth feels winning Dubai Superseries Finals is more important than rankings

Mumbai: Declaring himself fully fit after recovering from a thigh muscle strain, India's number one male shuttler Kidambi Srikanth said on Saturday that it was important to win the upcoming Dubai Superseries finals rather than focusing on becoming the World No 1.

"I am not thinking about (becoming) World No 1. Its more important to win the Super Series finals (in Dubai). I only think about performance, not the ranking," Srikanth told reporters after being conferred with an honorary life membership by the Cricket Club of India.

"If I can really do well or win the tournament, I can become the World No 1," added Srikanth who was a quarter finalist at last year's Rio Olympic Games.

Kidambi Srikanth became only fourth men's singles player to win four or more Superseries titles in a calendar year. AP

File Image of Kidambi Srikanth. AP

The Dubai World Superseries finals is to be held from 13-17 December and Srikanth is currently ranked No 4.

The Hyderabad shuttler, who created a sensation this year by winning four Superseries titles besides finishing runner-up in another, missed two tournaments after picking up his thigh injury following the nationals in Nagpur.

"I was injured after the nationals two weeks ago and had to skip the China and Hong Kong Opens. I am feeling good now. The body has recovered. I am just looking forward for a great next week," said the 24-year-old shuttler who won Superseries titles in Indonesia, Australia, Denmark and France.

"I did not play for one-one and a half weeks and then started my rehab. It was a thigh muscle strain. I am (now) back to full fitness," he added.

He described the year thats coming to an end as "fantastic" personally.

"It has been a really fantastic last 6-8 months; just one more tournament left for me this year and I want to do well in the last tournament that I have. I feel I did great, but there's still a lot to come," he said.

Looking ahead to next year, Srikanth said he wanted to take a break and train well before the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Championships.

"Its definitely a big year Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, World Championships and Superseries. Tournaments have also been increased to 50. I really want to keep myself fit for the big events. That's what I am thinking about, that's my priority to be 100 percent fit. Before the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games I want to take a break, train hard and then be fit for the event."

"I had not really pushed myself in the beginning. Had slowly started to push and gradually improved on fitness, but overall the (self) belief is what has made a huge difference," he said when asked what was the key to his outstanding performance this year.

He stayed clear of controversy over the cramped scheduling of events that was recently criticised by India's national coach, Pullela Gopichand.

"The tournaments have increased but at the end of it I don't want to comment as its a BWF (Badminton World Federation) decision and I don't want to get into any controversy," he said.

He also said he would start practising the new serve, to be made mandatory by BWF, after the end of the India Open in Delhi early next year.

"Its going to be tough. I have not tried it myself yet. I will try it after the India Open Superseries. I have heard they are implementing it with the All England (Super Series event). Its going to be very challenging. Its upto BWF to decide on the rules," he explained.

He also hailed the inputs of new singles coach Mulyo Handayo from Indonesia.

"He's someone who has a huge experience. He taught Taufik (Hidayat) from a beginner (before guiding him) to an Olympic gold medal. He has 25-30 years experience."

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Updated Date: Dec 09, 2017 23:57:26 IST

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