Srikanth: ‘I only think about performance, not the ranking’

The 24-year-old shuttler says he is back to full fitness and is ready to battle in the Dubai Super Series Finals.

K. Srikanth...“I’m not thinking about being World No. 1.”   -  V. Raju

Having missed the China Open and Hong Kong Open, India’s K. Srikanth is fresh and well-prepared for the upcoming Dubai Super Series Finals. He qualified for the year-ender ranked fourth behind Viktor Axelsen (Denmark), Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia) and Chen Long (China).

At the Cricket Club of India (CCI), he aired his thoughts on the upcoming tourney. “I was injured (thigh muscle strain) after the nationals (in Nagpur). My body has recovered and I am feeling good now. I look forward for a great next week.”

Srikanth was awarded the Honorary Life Membership of the CCI for winning the Indonesia Open, Australia, Denmark Open and French Open titles.

‘Still a lot to come’

The 24-year-old shuttler, who lost in the quarterfinals of the Rio Olympics, said his aim is to win Super Series competitions and that he wasn’t really concerned with rankings. “I started practising two weeks ago. After nationals I did not play for one and a half weeks. I am back to full fitness. If I can really do well or win the Dubai tournament I can become the World No. 1. It's been really a fantastic last 6-8 months; just one more tournament left for me this year and I want to do well in that. I feel I did great in 2017, but there’s still a lot to come. I am not thinking about becoming World No. 1 though. It’s more important to win the Super Series finals. I only think about performance, not the ranking.”

Read: Srikanth recommended for Padma Shri by Vijay Goel

Srikanth pointed out 2018 will be a big year because of the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, World Cup and the expanded Super Series schedule. “I really want to keep myself fit for the big events. That’s what I am thinking about, that’s my priority. I should be 100 per cent fit. That’s the main aim. I want to take a break before the Commonwealth and Asian Games, train hard and then be fit for these events.”

The Hyderabad-based badminton star, coached by P. Gopichand, did not want to comment on the heavy schedule of events next year. When asked about the new service rule (to be introduced at the All England Championship), Srikanth said: “It’s going to be tough. I have not tried it myself yet. I will try it after the India Open. It’s going to be very challenging.”

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