Not losing sleep over World No. 1 ranking, says shuttler Kidambi Srikanth

Star Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth might be inching towards the coveted World No. 1 ranking after his record-equalling Super Series win here but he says he does not want to lose sleep over chasing it.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 30, 2017, 11:23 AM IST
Not losing sleep over World No. 1 ranking, says shuttler Kidambi Srikanth
Kidambi Srikanth

Paris: Star Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth might be inching towards the coveted World No. 1 ranking after his record-equalling Super Series win here but he says he does not want to lose sleep over chasing it.

The eighth-seeded Indian beat Japan's Kenta Nishimoto 21 -14, 21-13 in the final to become the first Indian and fourth men's singles player in the world to win four or more Super Series titles in a calendar year.

The win last night ensured Srikanth, who has played five Super Series finals this season, bag his second consecutive title in two weeks after winning the Denmark Open in Odense last week.

His performance will see him jump in the rankings when the BWF releases the chart on Thursday.

Asked if he was looking at the number one spot, he said: "I don't know (if I will be No. 1). Definitely, I will go up higher in the rankings but I am not sure where I will be. I have not been pursuing it."

Before Denmark and French titles, Srikanth had won back-to-back titles at Indonesia and Australia in June.

Srikanth said World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark is still way ahead of him in terms of points.

"I think there is a lot of difference between me and Viktor (Axelsen), for sure before Denmark Open. I don't think I will be number one; I might improve a rank or two," he said.

"It is good to be there definitely but I am not thinking about it now. I don't really have any tournament to defend anywhere, so I don't want to push myself for the ranking and just want to enjoy playing, that's it," he added.

Talking about the last couple of weeks, Srikanth said: "I am just happy with the way I performed in the last couple of weeks. There were some close matches. I feel I was little lucky to pull off those matches, otherwise I am pleased how it went for me."

With back-to-back titles in Denmark and France, Srikanth has sealed his place at the top of Destination Dubai Rankings and would be a prime contender for the Super Series Final title in December.

Destination Dubai Rankings is a yearly ranking system that considers the performances of players in the 12 Super Series events and determines which eight players get to play the season-ending championships.

Srikanth said he has not yet given a thought how he will plan his schedule.

"Not really sure how I will go about the next tournaments, I have to go back and talk to my coach and decide what tournaments I will play before the Super Series finals," said the Indian, who had reached the finals at Singapore Open as well.

Asked about his preparation for the match against his Japanese opponent, Srikanth said: "I think he (Nishimoto) had been playing really well throughout this week. He beat Lee Chong Wei, he came from qualifiers and he has beaten Andersen. I was expecting a tough match.

"I am just satisfied the way I played. In the quarters and semifinal, I felt I really started off really slow, so I wanted to make a good start, start off a little better than what I did before. He is an attacking and aggressive player, so I did not want to give him any chance and it worked out for me."

The 25-year-old from Guntur played a long semifinal against compatriot HS Prannoy and was a tad concerned how he would recover for the summit clash.

Asked if he was happy with his fitness, Srikanth said: "I have surprised myself a little, but yeah the way we have been training last 9-10 months, it is really playing its part now. So I have to just keep working hard now."