20-year-old Aakarshi Kashyap, India's third-highest ranked female shuttler, believes that the semifinal appearance in the just-concluded India Open in Delhi was a “huge morale booster" and she needs to be more consistent as she chases a major title when she competes in the next big event - Syed Modi Open in Lucknow this week.
“I am satisfied with the way I have played in the India Open. I was optimistic of making it to the semis once the draw was out. Yes, there is always scope for improvement,” Aakarshi informed. 'The Hindu.'
The gifted shuttler from Durg (Chattisgarh), who trains at the City-based Suchitra Badminton Academy where P.V. Sindhu also trains with her fitness coach M. Srikanth, says the biggest lesson from the defeat to 12th seed Busanan Ongbamrunghpan in the India Open semis was that she should be more aggressive once in the lead.
“I had five game points against Busanan. Should have finished off with a more aggressive approach. This is what I should be aiming for in future,” she said.
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“I am fortunate to have a mentor like Pradeep Raju Sir (Suchitra) who always makes it a point to make a critical analysis of my games in all big events and to Srikanth sir for ensuring the right kind of fitness levels,” she said.
A big fan of Sindhu and Saina Nehwal, Aakarshi said she would be gunning for the title in the Syed Modi and the Odisha Opens before looking at the lifetime opportunity of playing in the All England later this year.
“I believe my strong points are the drops big and half-smashes besides the ability to retrieve. All I am looking for now is to minimize unforced errors,” the BA final year student from Durg University said.
The 2019 South Asian Games team gold medallist also said she would be targeting to break into the top 30 in world rankings (now she is No. 72).
“Honestly, I never spoke about my game with Sidhu didi or Saina didi. Apart from the Chinese legend Lin Dad, I grew up watching these two big names from India. Hope to keep improving and make a name for myself,” she concluded.
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