Kidambi Srikanth wins Sportstar Aces Racquet Sports Sportsman of the Decade

Kidambi Srikanth, who is the only Indian male badminton player to be ranked No. 1 in the world, has carved himself a legacy over the last decade.

Indian star shuttler Kidambi Srikanth with the Sportstar Aces ‘Sportsman of The Decade’ in racquet sports trophy in Hyderabad on Wednesday.   -  Nagara Gopal@The Hindu

Kidambi Srikanth, the only Indian male badminton player to be ranked No. 1 in the world, was named the Sportsman of the Decade (Racquet Sports) at the 2021 Sportstar ACES Awards on Sunday.

As Indian badminton carved out a wonderful legacy for itself in the 2010s, Srikanth was leading the charge in men’s singles. He began the decade by winning the Maldives International title in 2012. The next year, he won the Thailand Open Grand Prix and the senior national title, defeating his Andhra Pradesh compatriot Parupalli Kashyap in the final of the latter.


In 2014, Srikanth became the first Indian men’s singles player to win a Super Series Premier tournament, beating Lin Dan in the final of the China Open. A year later, he became the first Indian men’s singles player to win the Swiss Open and backed that effort up by winning the India Open Super Series title as well.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Srikanth put up a courageous fight but bowed out in the quarterfinals to Lin Dan in a thrilling contest. 2017 proved to be the best year of Srikanth’s career as he won four Super Series singles titles – in Indonesia, Australia, Denmark and France. Those exploits propelled him to No. 2 in the world rankings.

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Srikanth had a successful outing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, where he won gold in the mixed team event and silver in singles. Soon after, he became the No. 1-ranked player in men’s singles in the world.

“My memory of Sportstar goes way back to 2005-06. I used to read the magazine because it used to cover a lot of sports news and it also used to have a special picture every month of one sportsperson, and I used to really love it. And it was then that I always dreamt of being there one day and today, to receive this award, Sportsperson of the Decade in racquet sports, from Sportstar is a very big achievement, and I’m really happy and honoured to receive it. Thanks to Sportstar for giving me this award, and I’m very, very sure that this will help me achieve many more in future,” Srikanth said on receiving the award.


The 2021 edition of the Sportstar ACES Awards honoured the Giants of the Decade in Indian sport, with the winners being assessing on their performance and consistency from 2011 to 2020. Eleven awards were presented under the popular choice category, which was open to public voting, along with 14 jury awards as well as special recognition awards under two new categories – Sports for Good and Giants off the Field – that recognise the work of organisations and individuals who have used sports for the betterment of society.

Watch the full episode from Day 4 of the Sportstar Aces Awards here


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