Kidambi Srikanth who is rapidly making his case to become the next big superstar of Indian badminton by dominating the year 2017. He has already won four Super Series crown and another victory in the China Open would see him become the World No.1 in the badminton rankings. Srikanth has had to struggle a lot over the past couple of years, with injury halting his progress. Now back with a bang, Srikanth believes that the days of two of the greatest players of all-time, Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei dominating the sport are over.
He said in an interaction with reporters, “For a long time I think (Malaysian) Lee Chong Wei and (China’s) Lin Dan have dominated badminton. And now it has become more open. Me, Viktor (Axelsen) and even other Indian players are winning tournaments. It has become more wide open and it’s always good for the sport when you have so many champions.”
Srikanth was being felicitated at the Pullela Gopichand Academy and added that badminton had become very competitive these days and anybody could anyone on a particular given day. “These days, there are many players who are playing really well and anybody can beat anyone on their given day. So, it’s always important to be at your best against anyone.”
He also spoke on the impending retirements of Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan, saying, “I can’t really say that’s their end. They have played at the highest level and really have the experience to come back. One can’t really take them lightly. Lin Dan played in the final of World Championship. They definitely are tough every time you play them. But, we need to believe in ourselves that we can do well.”
Finally, Srikanth concluded that he wasn’t playing for the rankings, saying, “To be frank I don’t really think too much about the rankings. I really did well in the last eight to ten months. I want to just keep playing tournaments and enjoy playing the sport.”