Red Bull India

Srikanth Kidambi Ready to Force His Way Back into Reckoning

By: Editor
Date: 24 Sep, 2020
Image Courtesy: Red Bull India
Srikanth Kidambi, has almost a zen like calm about him – and you can never quite tell, if he’s at the top of the world rankings or coming back from a knee injury that has almost taken out two-years out of his career – whatever is happening around him, it’s quiet the challenge to know just by looking at him.

In the hey days of 2018, Srikanth was ranked #1 in the world, won the Gold for India at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and riding a high of three years of unprecedented success for a men’s singles player in the annals of Indian badminton. And such is the surreal nature of sport, that from such a high Srikanth almost had a forgettable 2019 and a rather tough start to 2020.

His Olympic qualification was still unsure, a persistent knee injury had now been plaguing him for a while and then came the six-month long corona virus lockdown. It almost seemed like everything was stacking up against this phenomenal champion. And yet, he’s not one to quit, never been, and never will.

Now back in training after the lockdown, Srikanth is ready to turn a new leaf over, and start with a clean slate and play with the same freedom and panache that took him to the pinnacle of men’s singles badminton.

Speaking to ESPN, Srikanth said, "It's the first time in nearly one and a half years that I'm able to play that stroke without really thinking about how it would affect my knee. When I'm moving on court, I'm not thinking about my knee. 

“That's giving me a lot more freedom to play. I can do every movement that I want. I can play as fast as I want."

Looking back at the tough period behind him, wherein he went from being a top medal contender to being unsure about his qualification itself, Srikanth brushes it off saying that’s how the dice rolls sometimes. 

"I lost the whole of 2019 and 2020. It was a little disappointing but that's how it is and you can't really do anything about it," he said.

Looking back at the lockdown and how it helped him cope with the injury, the qualification uncertainty, he admits that the lockdown allowed him to give rest to the body. 

"Because of the qualification race, I didn't give my body too much time to recover from my injury. I've just been trying to push myself through it," he said of his schedule prior to the lockdown.

And during the pandemic, he found the time and space to work on his knee, do a proper rehabilitation program and prep himself up to play badminton at the highest level once again.

Srikanth’s rehab and return will get a proper testing at the Danisa Denmark Open Super 750 in Odense, which starts in mid-October and he is really looking forward to the competition. Irrespective of how much you train, the competitive edge only comes through tournaments and match-play, he says. 

"The moment you are playing a tournament, not a single part of you that wants to lose. You are always devoted 100 percent to a victory. 

“Tournaments are tournaments. I'm not going to Denmark thinking the points don't count so I can lose. Whether they count or not, I still want to win," he lays out his perspective.

Share this post with your friends

Visitors Guru
Most Viewed
Stay Connected