India Open 2018: Kidambi Srikanth looks to regain momentum ahead of new season after injury lay-off
Srikanth had suffered an abdominal muscle strain during the PBL forcing him to skip the Indonesia Masters which was supposed to kick start his campaign in the new season.
New Delhi: World No 3 Kidambi Srikanth says he just wants to get his momentum back in a tough draw at the India Open after his start to the new season was delayed owing to a minor injury.
Srikanth had suffered an abdominal muscle strain during the Premier Badminton League (PBL) forcing him to skip the Indonesia Masters which was supposed to kick start his campaign in the new season.
"I think I have a tough draw keeping in mind the recent form I am in, so I really want to focus on getting back the momentum first," said Srikanth, who dominated the 2017 season winning four titles in five finals.
Despite the top seed and World No 1 Viktor Axelsen pulling out at the last minute, second seed Srikanth feels it is still a difficult draw for him.
"Even with Viktor pulling out, the men's singles still looks tough and challenging," he said.
"I could not get match practice ahead of the tournament due to my injury. I started training only two weeks back, so I am not really looking at any targets," he added.
Asked if skipping the opening tournament will affect his schedule, Srikanth said "I wanted to play in Indonesia but I cannot help it now. I guess there are many more tournaments in the year. After this I will play at ABC (Badminton Asia Championships), All England and the Commonwealth Games, which are big tournaments."
The World No 3 has done well in fast court conditions but says he needs to prepare more for the slow surfaces.
"I did well in slow conditions too, my first Superseries win was in China which had slow conditions.
I want to train to those conditions and play more tournaments in slow courts," Srikanth said.
Asked about the draw for the Asian Team Championship, which will also be a qualifier for Thomas Cup, Srikanth said, "I think we have good team and a very good draw, if we can perform to our potential we definitely have a chance of qualifying."
He has a lot of ranking points to defend this year but Srikanth said he is not looking at rankings but aiming at staying fit in a hectic season ahead.
"For me it is more important to win tournaments than rankings. I am only focusing on staying fit and doing well. I do not want to think too much about ranking points and put pressure on myself," he said.
Talking about the competition, Srikanth said, "I feel all the players in top 20-25 in the world are good enough to beat any player on their given day. I need to be at my best to beat any of them.
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All England Championships 2021: PV Sindhu gets easy passage to quarters, tough draw for Saina Nehwal
According to the draw released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Tuesday, Olympic silver medallist Sindhu will kick off her campaign in the women's singles with a clash against Malaysia's Soniia Cheah.
The Malaysia Masters, the Indonesia Masters and Indonesia Open have been postponed with no new dates yet set, said the Badminton World Federation.