Kidambi Srikanth, one of India's best men's singles players, said he was getting better by the day and asserted that he was just one big win away from regaining his lost form on the BWF Circuit.
Kidambi Srikanth had a poor start on Thursday, losing 12-21, 16-21 to Shi Yu Qi of China as India were outplayed 1-4 in their BWF Thomas Cup tie in Aarhus, Denmark, on Thursday.
Kidambi Srikanth, who enjoyed a 4-1 head-to-head record against his Chinese opponent, couldn't make it count as he went down fighting.
Speaking to journalists and the BWF after his match, the versatile singles player said he lacked consistency, something that is needed in big-ticket matches. He said:
"I felt like I played well in patches. I lack consistency and have to work on it. Otherwise, I feel I am playing well. I gave him (Shi Yu Qi) too many points in a row in both the first set and the second. I feel, the key is to cut down on mistakes. Otherwise, I am up there and I feel like I am just one big win away."
Kidambi Srikanth struggled to find form earlier and couldn't convert points when it mattered to lose the tie on a whimper. Speaking about the match, Kidambi Srikanth said:
"I really think it is more about cutting down on easy mistakes. I want to continue being consistent. I did start the second set well and I was doing well until about 10-8 and then gave six to seven points in a row. Had I avoided it, it could have been even."
Kidambi Srikanth gaining confidence
The versatile Indian singles player has been out of form in the recent past but has been pulling his socks well. With enough match practice under his belt, Kidambi Srikanth feels he is getting better with his game play, thereby improving his confidence levels too.
"I can see myself playing better when compared to my first match in the Sudirman Cup to here. It's just about gaining confidence and playing big matches. There are about eight to ten players playing well on the circuit and it is all about playing more matches with them and getting enough match practice."
Satwik-Chirag happy to score a win over China
After Kidambi Srikanth provided India with a bad start, Satwiksairaj and Chirag Shetty helped India restore parity after winning their doubles tie over He Ji Ting and Zhou Hao Dong 21-14, 21-14.
Speaking about the match, Chirag said both he and Satwiksairaj were clear in their game plan and executed them well.
"It was a good game. The tactics that we wanted to play and our game plans worked. We are happy to win a point for India."
Satwiksairaj admitted that the game was much easier than they had thought. He said they had not thought of beating the Chinese pair in two sets and were sure to play a third. But sticking to their plans helped stitch a straight-game win. He said:
"We never thought we could beat China easily. We prepared for a tough match. I was prepared for the third game. But we stuck to our plans and played consistently and we made sure to calm ourselves after every point with a small break."
Sameer Verma wastes a golden chance
India's second singles player Sameer Verma failed to put India 2-1 ahead and squandered four match points to lose his singles game to Lu Guang Zu. His loss was India's second in the men's singles after Kidambi Srikanth lost the first match of the evening.
Sameer Verma failed to keep cool and lost the match, thereby giving China a crucial 2-1 lead and a winning momentum.
Speaking about the match, Sameer said although he lost the match, he felt he was in good nick. He added:
"I think I am playing well. In the third set, when I was 20-17, he (Guang Zu) managed to win the last few points on the trot. I must focus on converting those points. I think I was good with respect to my movement and stroke play."
After recording 5-0 wins against the Netherlands and Tahiti, it was India's first defeat in the Thomas Cup. With two wins, India qualified for the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010.