Kidambi Srikanth: India have produced the best players in the last decade

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Kidambi Srikanth: India have produced the best players in the last decade

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SportsCafe Desk

02/22/2018

Kidambi Srikanth, who became the first Indian player to win four Superseries titles in a year, made a bold claim that India has arguably produced the best badminton players in the decade gone by. The Indian also admitted that he needs to stay fit and improve his consistency this year.

Indian badminton has been on a high for a while now and after promising a lot in recent times, it finally looks like the players are ready to deliver. From having multiple players in the fringes, the Indian contingent is now one of the most feared ones on the badminton circuit. Riding on his performances in the last year, Srikanth is now ranked third in the world behind Viktor Axelsen and Lee Chong Wei

Even though he might have hogged the headlines, he isn’t the only one who had created quite a stir. HS Prannoy has made it all the way to 11th place in the rankings and is followed by Sai Praneeth who sits three spots under him. Such has been India’s recent rise in the sport that they have the same number of players in the top-20 as China, who have just one player under the age of 29 on the list.

"We have five or six very good men's singles players and with Saina and Sindhu doing extremely well and doubles players adding to it, it is a very good pool we have," Srikanth was quotes saying by AFP.

"Probably we have the best set of players in the last 10 years or so." 

Srikanth had a roller-coaster role last year as he enjoyed success and heartbreak in equal measure. After losing the Singapore Open to compatriot Sai Praneeth, the top ranked Indian went on a run and won two back to back titles in Indonesia and Australia. After being hit by the injury bug, he made a comeback to win two more titles, Denmark and French, in October. However, the injuries were back after that and it led to the Indian narrowly missing out on finishing the year as the top ranked player in the world. 

"Obviously winning the Olympic medal is my biggest dream. But I really don't want to think too much about 2020 right now," Srikanth added.

"It's more about the next couple of months and next couple of tournaments that I am playing. It's really important for us to be consistent with events and those big medals.

"Last year I won SuperSeries events, got injured and came back to win SuperSeries events, so this year at least I want to stay fit and keep playing many more tournaments than last year."

After the much talked about rivalry between Carolina Marin and PV Sindhu, the media have now picked up on an unsaid competition between Srikanth and Axelsen. The duo have faced each other on seven occasions and it’s the Dane who leads the head to head with four wins under his belt.

"Viktor is someone who uses his height very well. For me it's about being aggressive and playing long matches," Srikanth revealed.

"Maybe I will think about (the rankings) after I retire."

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Will Saina Nehwal make it to the Semi Finals of India Open 2018?

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