Thomas and Uber Cup 2022 | Kidambi Srikanth opens up on one of the biggest wins of his career
A file image of Kidambi Srikanth.|
The Indian team made history by beating Indonesia in the final of the Thomas Cup, 3-0. After the match, Srikanth said, 'everyone played extremely well; I don't think this is one individual's win, it is about all 10 players and everyone played extremely well, everyone stepped up when it mattered'.
Srikanth, who won silver at the World Championships in Spain in December, said he can't compare his victories, but this was one of his most significant in his career. "I did well at world championships in December as well, this is another event where I did well. I just can't compare any of my wins, I don't want to rank any of my wins, all of them are important. "It is definitely one of the biggest wins, best in in terms of tournaments and one of my best performances."
Winning for the country, according to Srikanth, is a significant motivator for the squad. "In any major event be it Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, Thomas and Uber Cup, or world championships, none of them have prize money. But when you win, in this tournament, this is for the country, after we won, people said India won Thomas Cup, it was not Srikanth or Prannoy, so it itself was a special feeling," he said. "I don't think everyone will have the privilege to experience it, it is us 10 players and coaching staff who have experienced it now and it will motivate others to do well. So, the motivating factor was that we won this for the country."
Coming into the match with two losses against Jonatan Christie, Srikanth put on a fantastic performance to overcome the Asian Games gold medalist 21-15 23-21. Srikanth was asked if he felt under pressure in the waning seconds of the second game "There were nerves, also because of the fact that I was leading for the most part of the second game. He also played very well, he has done extremely well, so can't really write off, that too in the final. " I was just taking him on, trying to play consistently, but he played well after the 11-point break in the second game. I am just happy that I could play whatever I thought of playing, I could finish off the match and give that win to the country."
HS Prannoy, 29, also put on a show, winning the crucial third singles match to help India advance to the quarterfinals and semifinals. When he was excused from the selection trials and immediately enrolled in the squad, there were some objections. When asked if his performance had silenced the naysayers, Prannoy replied: "Definitely, I would say I did. I have always performed under pressure and to be part of this kind of team I am really proud. "I am really thankful to the association for choosing me as the third singles. I always wanted to be a part of Thomas Cup and I would have regretted if I was not chosen. I am extremely happy. "Thanks to everyone for supporting me and I think I have done justice with my performance. Nothing has sunk in yet, it will take couple of days more, we have to celebrate it big time."
Prannoy stated that they had always had the confidence to go the distance and that all they needed was each other's encouragement. "I think the feeling was always there, before coming also, we had that belief this is the team which can contend for the title, but the quarterfinal match was a crucial one because it was a big pressure because we knew we still didn't have the medal at hand. "But all of us stepped up at right time, after that the belief started getting better and we were playing 25 per cent more than the previous matches."