Kidambi Srikanth has lauded Pullela Gopichand’s support by stating that the latter believed him more than anybody else which helped him to make a strong comeback. Srikanth has revealed that he doesn't go into a tournament thinking about a win, but is glad to have achieved so much success this year.
With the help of the victory in French Open, Srikanth became the first Indian badminton player, male or female, to grab four Superseries titles in a single calendar year. This win also helped him reach a career-best second place in the BWF rankings and for that, he credited his coach Pullela Gopichand. The Guntur boy claimed that his coach’s belief was the one of the biggest reason which kept him going in the difficult times.
"He has definitely played a great role in my success. All the credit goes to Gopi sir as he believed in me more than anybody else and that really helped me make a strong comeback," Srikanth told News18.
Srikanth also credited India’s singles coach Mulyo Handoyo from Indonesia, who was roped in earlier this year to ease the workload of national coach Gopichand. Handoyo, who coached Taufik Hidayat to an Olympic gold medal, now, helping Srikanth and other Indian shuttlers to perform better at a higher level.
"Everyone is doing well and the amount of training we have been doing since the new coach has joined is really helping us. We really want to be more consistent as a group in the coming tournaments," the 24-year-old said.
Srikanth continued his brilliant journey in the Superseries events as he defeated Japan's Kenta Nishimoto 21-14, 21-13 in the French Open final to became the first Indian player to win four Superseries titles in a year. He also became the first Indian to win the French Open title.
"I am really happy to have won four Superseries titles this year but this is not something which I had aimed for. I don't think about these things ahead of a tournament. It is always about giving my hundred percent and playing as well as I can," the Hyderabad player said.
"I think the kind of mindset that has developed in the last eight to ten months has made a lot of difference. I am feeling very confident.
"I am just trying to enjoy the sport now and not worried too much about winning or losing," India's top male shuttler said.
After defeating former Olympic gold medalist Lin Dan in the China Open Super Series Premier title in the year 2014, he came into the limelight. Later, he made headlines when he captured his second Super Series title as he wins the 2015 India Open, but injuries came as a hurdle in his career.
"I think injuries are a part of every sportsperson's life. One can't really predict when they might happen and how much time it will take to come back from them. It is important to be positive and make a swift comeback," Srikanth answered when asked about his past injuries.
The ace Indian shuttler disappointed because of a quarter-final loss against Lin Dan at the 2016 Rio Games but he prepared himself to bounce back in a terrific way. In 2017, he reached the final of the Singapore Open and later bagged the Indonesia Open and Australia Open titles. And then he created history by registering back to back wins at Denmark Open and the French Open. The Hyderabad boy applauded his support staff for maintaining his fitness throughout the year which helped him overcome the challenges in big platforms.
"My support staff did a great job in ensuring a speedy recovery and also in keeping me fit for two continuous weeks where I am playing the highest level of badminton. So, huge thanks to them for the efforts," Srikanth said after his French Open victory.
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