Kidambi Srikanth is hoping to win the Indian Open Superseries that kicks off in New Delhi on March 28 in a bid to lift his world ranking by the April end cutoff for an automatic spot in the World Championship after the former world No 4 dropped to 31 following a foot injury.
"Indian Open tournament is very important for me, this tournament along with the next two tournaments in Malaysia and Singapore will be crucial for my qualification at the World Championship," Srikanth was quoted as saying by PTI.
"I am really looking forward to the Indian Open. I am feeling confident after playing at the German Open and All England. I think I played really well and I really want to do well at the Indian Superseries."
The 2017 World Championship will be held in Glasgow between Aug 21 and 27 with the rankings cutoff set to be evaluated on the last Thursday of April.
Two years ago, Srikanth became the first Indian male shuttler to win the Indian Open. Saina Nehwal won the Indian Open the same year, presenting the country's badminton enthusiasts a great gift.
Srikanth had also stunned two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan in 2014 at the China Superseries and reached the quarterfinals of the Rio Olympics last year. However, an unfortunate ankle injury in October during the Japan Open hampered his progress.
"I could not reach my peak fitness after that injury but now I have got enough time to work on my fitness and I'm in the best shape now. I am improving every day in my fitness and also got a good match practice at the two events that I played and I am really feeling confident now," said Srikanth.
"I don't really think about the ranking because now I know I have been the world No 4 once and I know how to get there. I am confident if I can keep doing well, the ranking will automatically go up.
"Also I have goog memories here (Indian Open). But it is also a fact that it was two years back and now a lot of things have changed. A lot of new players have come in and it is a new event and you can't be 90%, you have to be 100%"