New champs good for the game: Kidambi SrikanthNovember 1, 2017
HYDERABAD: Kidambi Srikanth, who arrived to a grand welcome on Tuesday after winning back-to-back titles, said that he was very pleased to see HS Prannoy play so aggressively in the semifinals of the French Open. Srikanth shared his thoughts on his friends and opponents in the world of badminton.
Prannoy is your close friend and is yet to win a Super Series title. During the French Open semifinal did it cross your mind that you can help him win a major title by losing to him that day?
We are very close friends for sure, but even I train as hard as he trains. I can’t really think of it that way.
What did you tell him after the match?
Not much. Both of us wanted to win. It’s just important to get those crucial points in the end.
From what was on display on that day, do you think he will be a threat for you in future?
Definitely, not just him but everyone is playing well. Prannoy was too good that day. I was shocked to see him so aggressive that day. There was no speed metre, but I am sure some of his smashes would’ve crossed the 400 kph mark.
The trio of Lee Chong Wei, Chen Long and Lin Dan has faltered while the younger lot has won most titles this year. Do you think a new world order has emerged?
Lee Chong Wei, Lin Dan and Chen Long have dominated for a long time. Now it’s become more open and it’s always good for the sport when you have so many new champions. But we can’t really write them off. They have the experience to come back. Lin Dan has reached the final of World Championships, so they will definitely be tough every time we play them. But we need to believe in ourselves.
Any major changes to your game in the last 12 months?
I think the mindset has changed. These days I am ready to play long matches. That gives a lot of confidence against top players.
Saina, Sindhu and you have won many titles but the big ones like Olympic gold, World Championship and All England are missing…
Every time we enter a tournament, we play to win. The way we’ve been playing in the last eight months, hopefully, we should win major trophies as well.
How do you keep emotions in check after winning big titles?
I am a great fan of Roger Federer. I take inspiration from him to be calm on court and be focused. I trying to follow him.