Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei can still win titles, believes Kidambi Srikanth
What's the Story
World No 4 Kidambi Srikanth believes men’s singles badminton is now more wide open than before when only a couple of players used to dominate the circuit. After winning his 4th Super Series title at the French Open, Srikanth said many players on the circuit are capable of winning tournaments, unlike before, adding that this was good for the sport.
In Case You Didn't Know
Srikanth is all set to move up the BWF Rankings after his superlative performance in the Denmark Open and the French Open. He will rise to a career best world No 2 rank next week after his recent exploits.
The Heart of the Matter
The 24-year-old said, “For a long time, I think Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan have dominated badminton. Now, it has become more open. Me, Viktor [Axelsen] and even other Indian players are winning tournaments. It has become more wide open and it’s always good for the sport when you have so many champions.”
He added, “These days, there are many players who are playing really well and anybody can beat anyone on their given day. So, it’s always important to be at your best against anyone.”
Srikanth, however, said that he doesn’t think Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan are nearing the end of their careers. “I can’t really say that’s their end. They have played at the highest level and really have the experience to come back. One can’t really take them lightly.
“Lin Dan played in the final of World Championship. They definitely are tough every time you play them. But we need to believe in ourselves that we can do well.”
A title win at the upcoming China and Hong Kong Opens could propel him to the No 1 spot ahead of world champion Axelsen. He reiterated that he doesn’t want to run behind the rankings. However, Srikanth insisted that he is not solely focused on the BWF Rankings. Instead, he just wants to do well in the upcoming tournaments.
There is an element of truth in Srikanth's words as the current crop of male badminton players are supremely talented. The likes of Viktor Axelsen, Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan will surely make life difficult for Srikanth Kidambi in his quest to reach the World Number One Ranking.