Prakash Padukone has emphasized the importance of winning prestigious tournaments and stated that people remember players through the big tournaments wins. He has also urged the Indian players to prioritize the tournaments they want to play in so as to maintain a balance between playing and resting.
Padukone, who was the first Indian to win the All England Open Badminton Championships,
“You should try to peak during these periods and plan accordingly. It doesn't matter if, in the bargain, your ranking goes down for one week. People remember you by the number of important tournaments you have won. I am not saying ranking is not important, but a variation in ranking should not worry you much. These big tournaments also fetch a lot of points,” Padukone said on the eve of the Tata Open international challenge badminton tournament, which starts at the Cricket Club of India courts on Wednesday as quoted by The Hindu.
In a year, there are almost 17 major badminton tournaments which see all the top-seeded players competing against each other. In the recent past, Indian players like PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy, and Kidambi Srikanth have been competing with the best at the international level. But back to back tournaments have also caused fatigue as they don't get enough time to recover. In this year alone, Sindhu has played 52 matches with 40-12 win-loss rate while Nehwal has featured in 37 matches out of which she has won 24. The 25-year-old Prannoy played 46 matches in 2017 winning 31 out of them. The World No. 3 Srikanth played 45 matches in which he lost only 8 on the way to winning four Superseries titles. Padukone has urged the players to be more selective with their choices of tournaments so as not to burn themselves out by the end of the year.
“They (Indians) are definitely playing more than the required number of tournaments. It's important to strike a right balance between playing and resting. They need to be careful not to play too many.
“Fatigue and injury can result from playing too many tournaments. I always maintain that while ranking is important, it's not the only thing,” he said.
Srikanth has been exceptional this year becoming the first Indian badminton player, male or female, to grab four Superseries titles in a single calendar year. Later, a leg injury during the National Badminton Championships forced him to sit out of the China Open and he decided to skip Hong Kong Open as well. Padukone backed the 24-year-old player's decision and believed that it will help him in upcoming Finals event in Dubai.
“What Srikanth has done, skipping tournaments is the right decision. He could have played China and Hong Kong Opens. He could have become No. 1. But he has resisted the temptation and decided to play only in Dubai. He has a good chance of doing well there and become No. 1, if not now, later.
“The main thing was being 100 per cent fit and capable of winning any tournament. That's how I was brought up. Things are the same even now,” he said.