What’s the story?
Srikanth Kidambi has been on a rampage ever since he lost to Chen Long at the Sudirman Cup in May. It sparked off a streak of 10 match wins and two Superseries titles in back-to-back weeks – the Indonesia Open and the Australian Open.
His exploits have now earned him the top position in the World Superseries Destination Dubai Rankings – a yearly ranking system that considers the performances of players in the 12 Superseries events and determines which eight players get to play the season-ending championships.
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The twin wins made the soft-spoken, unassuming Guntur-born shuttler the first Indian to win back-to-back Superseries crowns. The former World No. 3 is all set to make a glorious return to the world’s top 10 at No. 8 after his humongous feat.
The heart of the matter
Srikanth’s big win at the Indonesia Open Superseries Premier last week did a major boost to his rankings. It not only lifted him in the BWF rankings by 11 spots and put him at the 11th position, it also helped him climb 12 places to be second in the World Superseries Destination Dubai Rankings.
With 25,060 points, he trailed only Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen, who had 28,090 points against his name this year.
Srikanth secured a total of 9200 points after emerging as the winner which will take his tally to 34260 points. Chou Tien Chen, in contrast, crashed out in the first round, which helps the Indian overtake Chen to the pinnacle.
Srikanth’s next major tournament should be the BWF World Championships, beginning August 21 in Glasgow, Scotland.
It had been a tough end to last season for the Pullela Gopichand protégé after he suffered a stress fracture on his right ankle and was forced to sit out for three months. That happened shortly after he made it to the quarter-finals of the Rio Olympics and Srikanth was deprived of a chance to build on his Rio run.
The 24-year-old could only return to the circuit this year. His stupendous show after that can be credited to a rigorous regime of fitness programme and his own determination. Indonesian coach Mulyo Handoyo’s presence has worked wonders for him and the conviction and confidence are both back in Srikanth now, thus putting Indian men’s badminton on a high pedestal.
Let us hope Srikanth can continue to dazzle on the courts for a long time.