Kidambi Srikanth, the recently-crowned champion at the Thailand Open Grand Prix badminton championship, believes he can now dream big.
The 20-year-old shuttler, who returned to Hyderabad on Tuesday, said his confidence level was on a high.
“What really pleased me was the way I could attack consistently right through the event. I must thank all the coaches and Gopi sir (chief national coach Pullela Gopi Chand) for their significant inputs before every match,” said Srikanth.
“I am happy that I did not get involved in too many tight games in the Thai Open. This was primarily because I could play my natural attacking game with consistency,” said the trainee of the Gopi Chand Academy.
“Definitely, it was tough to beat top-seeded Boonsak Ponsana. He was the crowd favourite and is a vastly experienced player. I did not think too much before the game. In fact, in every match, my first objective was to play to the best of my ability and not bother about anything else,” recalled Srikanth.
In an interesting revelation, Srikanth’s brother, Nandagopal, who along with K. Maneesha won the mixed doubles title in the Maldives Open the same day Srikanth won the Thai Open, said the news of his younger brother’s victory put a lot of pressure on him in Maldives.
“Everyone started asking me about his performance and this in a way made me think seriously about winning my own doubles final scheduled minutes later,” said a smiling Nandagopal.
Referring to his game, Srikanth felt he has to improve a lot in many areas. “Gopi Sir always taught me that learning is an endless process. So, my effort will be to keep improving, especially work on my defence a lot more since I am fairly good in attack,” he said.
“Winning my maiden Grand Prix title should remain a special moment in my career. I was confident of winning a big title this year after reaching the knockout stages in quite a few big events. But, I never expected it would happen in Bangkok,” Srikanth said.
“I only hope I can sustain this consistency at the highest level,” said the new star of Indian badminton, who will now train for the Singapore Open starting next week.