Kidambi Srikanth: 2019 is going to be a crucial year for me

Srikanth, who has had a string of quarterfinal and semifinal finishes this year, feels he is much fitter now and is aiming to get into the top-five of the world rankings.

The World No. 8 is in constant touch with his coach P. Gopi Chand, a man he describes as his mentor and inspiration.   -  G. P. Sampath Kumar

After a disappointing run this year, Kidambi Srikanth is keen to get back on track in 2019. For a brief period in 2018, Srikanth did hold the World No. 1 ranking, but apart from clinching two medals at the Commonwealth Games, the rest of the season has not yielded big results.

Srikanth believes that one of the reasons for his dip in form was the fact that he entered too many tournaments. “I pushed myself to chase the world rankings by playing many tournaments despite not being fully fit. This is something I will avoid now. I need to get enough time to rest and recover between tournaments. I want to limit myself to 12 Super Series events in 2019,” Srikanth said, at a press interaction hosted by Premier Badminton League (PBL) franchise Bengaluru Raptors.

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A crucial year

Srikanth, who has had a string of quarterfinal and semifinal finishes this year, said, "I’m much fitter now. Hopefully, I can do well in the early part of 2019 and get into the top-five of the world rankings."

The World No. 8 is in constant touch with his coach P. Gopi Chand, a man he describes as his mentor and inspiration.

Playing the PBL is ideal preparation for sterner tests to come. “In the PBL, I can play without much pressure. I can play with a lot more freedom than I do in Super Series events. This will allow me to understand my full potential,” Srikanth, who will compete in the Malaysia Masters and Indonesia Masters after the PBL, said.

Srikanth also has the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the back of his mind. “The 2020 Olympics is there in the big picture. To get there, I have to continuously maintain a good world ranking. And for that, I have to be consistent in 2019. In many respects, 2019 is going to be a crucial year for me,” the 25-year-old said.