New Delhi: India's badminton sensation Kidambi Srikanth on Thursday achieved a career-best ranking of World No 2 in the latest BWF release. The 25-year-old jumped two places and is now behind Victor Axelson of Denmark in the men's singles ranking.
Srikanth is already a force in the world badminton. In a fantastic run of form this year, he has won four Super Series titles in five finals. He is only the fourth player ever to achieve this feat a calendar year. The other three are legends of the game — Lin Dan (China), Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia) and Chen Long (China).
Since his last-eight loss in the Glasgow World Championships in August to the then World No.1 Son Wan Ho of South Korea, in Srikanth has lost just once in the next 13 matches.
He captured back-to-back Super Series titles in Denmark and France. He now has six of those in his ever-swelling kitty. In the process, the Indian shuttler has conquered some of the biggest names. He has defeated Olympic champion Chen Long in Australian, world champion Axelsen in Denmark and Wan Ho in Indonesia.
He now has 73,403 points, with another 4527 points separating the top two players.
Srikanth was nominated for the prestigious Padma Shri award by former Sports Minister Vijay Goel yesterday.
S Prannoy, who is also witnessing a steady rise, improved a place to reach a career-best ranking of World No. 11. He won the US Open Grand Prix Gold and also reached the semifinals at Paris, where he lost to eventual winner and compatriot Srikanth.
But, it's bad news for another promising Indian shuttler. Singapore Open champion B Sai Praneeth dropped a place to be at the 16th spot, while Sameer Verma, who had skipped the events at Denmark and France due to fitness issues, is steady at the 18th place.
In women's singles, P V Sindhu, who also reached the semifinals at France, was static at World No. 2, while former World No. 1 Saina Nehwal was also steady at the 11th spot.
Young men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who entered the quarterfinals last week after beating the World No. 6 combo of Mads Pieler Kolding and Mads-Conrad-Petersen, improved four spots to be at the 28th place.
Women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy slipped two places to be at the 25th spot, while mixed doubles combo of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki were steady at the 16th place.