Srikanth sets new goals for himself
Hyderabad: Fresh from his latest triumph that has created ripples within the Asian badminton fraternity, Kidambi Srikanth appears to have matured...
Hyderabad: Fresh from his latest triumph that has created ripples within the Asian badminton fraternity, Kidambi Srikanth appears to have matured overnight. Modest and down to earth, he, apparently, believes in talking less. Srikanth returned to the city on Monday after becoming the first Indian male to win a Grand Prix singles crown outside Indian shores while stunning an impressive field, along the way. 'It has been an incredible week for me. I must say that beating the local favourite in the title clash in his backyard was euphoric,' was how the 20-year-old from Guntur reacted on touching base at the Pullela Gopichand badminton Academy. The 13th seeded Srikanth accounted for the World No 7 and top-seeded Thai Boonsak Ponsana to annex his maiden Grand Prix Gold title in 31 minutes at Bangkok on Sunday. But then Srikanth is no stranger to upsetting higher ranked payers. He has been doing it ever since last year's the Indian Open, when he won the title. 'It has been an unforgettable triumph. It means a lot more to me because I could defeat the player who had won the India Open earlier. I am happy that I could keep the Indian flag flying high,' he said. Meanwhile, his parents, Krishna and Radhamukunda who received him, could not hide their joy on seeing their son after his latest accomplishment. Rising shuttler P V Sindhu, who was alongside him at the Academy, lauded him for his efforts. The jubilant father said, 'I am happy as both my sons (elder son Nandagopal won the mixed doubles title at Maldives on the same day) have done well this week. It has been a steady rise since the time Srikanth began his career as a SAAP product in Khammam as a youngster. Actually, there was a time when he almost decided to call it a day.' He did not imply it but it is understandable because as a farmer the earnings were not sufficient to handle the expenses of to talented shuttler-sons. However, it is a tribute to their courage that despite the poor economic conditions, Srikanth was sent to the Academy four years back. 'Actually, when he started winning small tournaments, we felt encouraged to put him in the Academy. It has been a wise move because the Maldives International Challenge, 2012 title triumph bolstered our confidence levels,' Krishna said. Srikanth won a rare double in the 2011 edition of the Commonwealth Youth Games. Partnering K Maneesha he won a silver medal in mixed doubles and subsequently notched up a bronze in the men's doubles along with H Thandarang. Incidentally, although Srikanth is presently ranked 61, he achieved a career high of 45 late last month. 'I wish to win as many laurels as possible and perhaps cement a regular place in the Indian squad,' is the avowed immediate dream of Srikanth. For now, it is back to the courts as Srikanth gears up for his next engagement, the Singapore Open Super Series from June 18 to 23.
29 Jan 2020 4:51 AM GMT