Kidambi Srikanth says he prefers the 21-point system; feels new service rule will affect taller players more
Srikanth emphasised, 'I personally haven't tried the 11- point format. The 21-point (format) is working well for me and I prefer it to be the same way.'
Mumbai: Top Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth would not prefer any drastic changes in the scoring system, being contemplated by the World body, and reckons that he can grab the top rank in the 2018 season.
BWF has proposed a new scoring system in which five games of 11 points may replace the current three games of 21 points format. The proposals will come up for discussion and voting at BWF's Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 19 May in Bangkok.
"A couple of things are happening but I have not heard anything official. They had asked (about it) a couple of years back - before the Rio Olympics. I personally haven't tried the 11- point format. The 21-point (format) is working well for me and I prefer it to be the same way," Srikanth emphasised.
On the service rule change to come into force from next month's All England event, Srikanth felt it would affect the taller players more than the shorter ones.
"The new service rule also starts with the All England (championship). The new rule will not affect most players; only the tall players will get affected. The 6-plus footers."
Having narrowly missed the World No 1 rank during a highly successful 2017, Srikanth is optimistic about his chances this year.
"I have not completely missed it. I still have a chance to be the World No 1. I can definitely be the World No 1 by winning tournaments in the next 3-4 months," Srikanth said after being announced as one of the new brand ambassadors of tyre company Bridgestone which is associated with the Olympic movement.
Srikanth, who lost to Chinese great Lin Dan in the quarter-finals of the men's singles in the 2016 Rio Olympics, conceded that a tough season lay ahead with some big events lined up, such as the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, apart from a packed badminton calendar.
"It's a tough season and a tough couple of months ahead with the All England and CWG (in Gold Coast, Australia in April) scheduled. It's important throughout this season, to remain fit and plan accordingly," said Srikanth about the tight playing schedule prepared by the world badminton body, BWF.
"It's definitely going to be tough for every other player. I hardly managed to play 6-7 Superseries (events) last year out of 12 and this time they want us to play in 12 (mandatory SS events) out of 15 (overall).
It's about keeping my body fit for the big events and playing well there," said Srikanth who won the singles title in two Superseries Premiers and four other Superseries events last year.
"To escape heavy monetary penalty for no-shows in tournaments the players need to provide valid medical certificates to BWF," said Srikanth.
"(I can skip) if I can actually provide with proper medical certificates. Otherwise I have to pay a heavy fine to BWF. It's definitely tough and that's why you see many top players coming to tournaments and conceding in the first round. It's just the appearance (of players) that the BWF wants in all tournaments. The government supports players in playing but not in paying fines," he said.
The 25-year-old shuttler said the Asian Games provided tougher competition than the CWG with more top badminton playing countries competing in the former multi-sport meet.
"We don't really have too many countries in CWG and Asia is dominating in badminton. You have less competition (in CWG). With Rajiv Ouseph (England)and (Malaysia's Lee) Chong Wei present it (CWG) will be tough, but Asian Games will be tougher."
Meanwhile, talking about Srikanth and other athletes' association with them, Bridgestone chief general manager, Vaibhav Saraf said,""The idea is to bring them (Indian athletes) on board and see how they inspire people. Apparel endorsement is not part of the contract. They are purely brand ambassadors. It's up to 2024.
The soft-spoken Indian ace was not known for her aggression till five years back and it was chief national coach Pullela Gopichand, who had transformed her into an aggressive player ahead of the Rio Games.
The world number seven Indian will next play Hong Kong's world number 34 Cheung Ngan Yi in the group stage.
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