New Delhi: Top Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth is hoping for a men’s singles final against two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan at the $275,000 India Open Superseries, which commences here on Tuesday.
Though the Chinese has defeated Srikanth twice, the World No.4 Indian came out on top when the two last met at the China Open final last November. “I hope so. I hope I meet him in the final again,” the second seed said on Monday with a smile on his face.
“That win over Lin Dan definitely helped me in a great way. Beating one of the greatest players in badminton in his country, it gives you a lot of confidence. I am really confident that I can perform well here.”
The 22-year-old will take on Thai Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in the opener on Wednesday, against whom Srikanth has a 1-all career record. Srikanth has seen phenomenal rise in international badminton in last one year. Though he announced his arrival at the big stage with his Thailand Open win in 2013, he remained inconsistent with his performances.
However, in the past few months, the Guntur-born lad beat five-time World Champion Dan to win the China Open in his own backyard, clinched the Swiss Open earlier this month, and has rocketed to World No.4 in the rankings. “I am working hard on my game. From my side, I am playing really well. I just want to play my best game, win every match,” he said.
“A day before my game against an opponent, I actually look to know about him, his game, and his strategy. If I have played him before, then I’ll watch my videos again and prepare accordingly,” said Srikanth.
“I should thank Gopi sir for all his advice. He has helped me a lot. Becoming No.1 is one target. It would be a really good thing to happen, being on top of the world. I hope it happens and I am ready to work hard for that.”
Former All England winner Pullela Gopichand is the chief national coach. Talking about the India Open field, Srikanth said, “We definitely have the advantage. Last time when we played the Thomas and Uber Cup, the crowd was behind us.” “It gives you a lot of confidence, it gives you joy actually, playing at home. The field is very tough. We have to be ready to play hard.”