Consistent Srikanth eyes top 25 by year end
Satisfied with his "consistent" performance at the international circuit, the Thailand Open champion K Srikanth says he wants to sign off the year with a top-25 finish.
"I think I performed well and was consistent after winning the Thailand Open. It is my second year in international circuit and I am happy with myself. The victory gave me a lot of confidence," said Srikanth, who reached the Japan Open quarterfinals last week.
"I want to be the world number one one day. There are four more tournaments to go in the year. I am right now ranked 39th but after the Japan Open, I might break into the top-30 and I want to finish the year within top 25," he added.
The 20-year-old from Andhra Pradesh feels India has a strong field in the men`s singles and the high-level of competition at home is helping the players to perform well at the international circuit.
"We have a lot of men`s singles players in the academy, we train together and play each other. It helps in making strategy when we play against other players. It is always a 50-50 against them. I have beaten them in the academy," he said.
Srikanth feels Indian badminton is on the rise and Parupalli Kashyap`s breaking into top 10 has given confidence to the young shuttlers that they can also reach the peak.
"Kashyap made it to the top 10. He was sixth in the world for sometime. So we all have a chance of being there, he has shown that. Within the next two years, a lot of Indian players will be at the top," Srikanth said.
Srikanth, who earned the reputation of a giant-killer with his recent stunning victories at Indian Badminton League, said the tournament gave him the opportunity to play against the top international stars.
"I played so many international players during the IBL. Lee Chong Wei, Nyugen Tien Minh, they have been playing for so long. It helped me while playing in international event. It was really good that three of us could reach the quarters of Japan Open," he said.
Besides Srikanth, H S Prannoy and Ajay Jayaram made the men`s singles quarterfinals in Japan Open.
Srikanth had started off as a doubles player when he joined Pullela Gopichand academy in 2009 but after he was advised to shift to singles, the youngster showed some good performance, reaching the quarter-finals of the Asian Junior Championships and entering the pre-quarterfinals of the World Junior Championships in 2011.
"Being a doubles player helped me. I played a lot of drives and there are not many singles players who play a drive. It is an added advantage," he said.
However, Srikanth added: "There are lots of areas to improve. I just want to play more attacking game but I have to work more on my rallies."
Srikanth have beaten some good players in the last few months, including Boonsak Ponsana, Jan O Jorgensen, Wing Ki Wong, S Tanongsak and Sho Sasaki.