Kashyap: ‘I have to be smarter in my training’

India shuttler Parupalli Kashyap, who won the Austrian Open title on Sunday, believes getting back to winning ways is of great importance at this stage of his career.

Parupalli Kashyap’s career was marred with injuries in the last three years and the Austrian Open victory is a silver lining at this stage of his career.   -  AFP

Parupalli Kashyap, who won the Austrian Open title on Sunday, may not have set the badminton world agog with excitement, but the victory — three years after he won the India Open Grand Prix title beating Kidambi Srikanth in the final — brought him back in the reckoning.

“Getting the winning feeling back is of great importance to me as I prepare for the big events this year,” the 31-year-old, also a Commonwealth Games gold medallist, told Sportstar from Vienna.

“Only a few know the kind of trauma I went through in the last three years, when major injuries hampered my training and my game. Not many had a clue as to what kind of training I should have done given the spate of injuries; leading to keen surgery and shoulder dislocation also. But thankfully, Gopi anna (Pullela Gopichand) and the support staff at Gopi Academy were a huge source of inspiration,” he revealed.

Read: P. Kashyap clinches Austrian Open title

“There was a phase when a couple of times I thought it was all over given the pain coming back every time I started training after an injury break. Let me tell you in the last three years, only in the last four months I could train without any injury break. So, I must say I was in a unique position to constantly re-assess my fitness levels as I was looking to extend my playing career beyond the age of 30,” added the former national champion.

“There is no doubt the current crop of players like Srikanth, H.S. Prannoy and Sai Praneeth are just fabulous achievers. Honestly, I always felt training with them will only help me to be a better player for I know we can never have such a group of quality players in the immediate future,” said Kashyap.

“I know Austrian Open title is not a big one. In fact, I am playing in a Challenger event after a gap of nine years. I was definitely desperate to keep winning matches in a tournament consistently. I am glad that I pulled it off. This should be the beginning of getting back the winning habit,” he said.

“It is a huge thing to challenge the leading players in the circuit. And many of them are from India. I know I have the game, only fitness levels are of concern. I have to be smarter in my training for sure,” he signed off.