Srikanth Kidambi is an Indian badminton player born on 7th January 1993. He hails from Ravulapalem village of Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh. He represents India in Singles and Doubles categories. In April 2018, Srikanth was ranked No.1 in the world.
Srikanth Kidambi was born to KVS Krishna and Radha Kidamdi. He belongs to an agricultural family, where his father is a farmer and a landlord, and his mother is a housewife. Srikanth has an elder brother Kidambi Nandagopal who is a badminton player himself.
Srikanth picked up badminton along with his elder brother Nandagopal in 2000 when they both joined the newly constructed municipal stadium in Guntur. Nandagopal’s talent was spotted by Sports Authority of Sports and moved to Visakhapatnam to train at Sports Academy of Andhra Pradesh. In 2001, Srikanth too joined the academy and shared a room with his brother at the hostel’s academy.
Before joining his brother at Sports Academy of Andhra Pradesh, Srikanth was lazy and idler. However, he worked hard to join the academy. Srikanth didn’t take badminton seriously until he joined the Gopichand Badminton Academy in 2008. He and Nandagopal joined the badminton academy run by former Indian badminton player and national coach Pullela Gopichand.
Rise to Glory
After moving to Gopichand Badminton Academy, Srikanth began to pursue badminton seriously. Pullela Gopichand believed that he had talent but he lacked focus. Gopichand guided him to strengthen his focus on the game.
In 2011, after getting an international break, he won his first Junior singles title and doubles title at the All India Junior International Badminton Championships in Pune. A year later , he clinched his maiden Singles title at the Maldives International Challenge.
In 2013, he won his first Singles National title at the Senior National Badminton Championships by defeating Parupalli Kashyap. In January 2014, he finished as a Runner-Up at the Indian Grand Prix Gold. In 2015, at the Syed Modi International, he was defeated by Parupalli Kashyap in the final and he won the tournament title a year later.
In 2016, he won two Gold medals in Men’s Singles and Team at the South Asian Games in Guwahati. That year, Indian men’s team settled for Bronze after semi-final loss but Srikanth remained unbeaten at the Asian Team Championships in Hyderabad.
At the 2019 South Asian Games, he won the Gold medal in Men’s Team at Kathmandu in Nepal. In 2020, Srikanth and his team settled for Bronze again at the Asian Team Championships in Manila.
Srikanth Kidambi made his international debut in 2011 where he competed and won his first international medal by winning Bronze in Mixed Team event at the Asian Junior Championships. In that year, he won the Silver and Bronze in Mixed Doubles and Boys Doubles respectively at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Douglas.
In 2013, Srikanth claimed his second Singles title at the Thailand Open. A year later, Srikanth participated in the Malaysian Open and ended up as quarterfinalist.
At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, he was part of the Indian Mixed Team that reached the semifinals and he also finished as quarterfinalist in Men’s Singles. Srikanth broke into the limelight when he defeated 5-time World Champion and 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist Lin Dan in 2014 China Open Final to claim the title.
In 2015, Srikanth became the first Indian to clinch the Gold medal at the Swiss Open by defeating Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen. A year later, in August, he competed at the Rio Olympics and reached the quarterfinals of Men’s Singles where he lost to China’s Lin Dan.
In 2017, Srikanth and Sai Praneeth became the first Indian badminton pair to reach the finals of a ranking event at the Singapore Super Series, where Sai emerged as eventual champion. That year, he went on to win 4 titles, each at the Indonesia Open, Australian Open, Denmark Open and French Open.
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Srikanth had a successful campaign by winning Gold in Mixed Team event and a Silver in Men’s Singles at Gold Coast in Australia.
Srikanth is now looking to break into Top-16 in the BWF rankings to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.