Home BADMINTON 5 Best Moments of Kidambi Srikanth ‘s glittering career

5 Best Moments of Kidambi Srikanth ‘s glittering career

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Inspired by his older brother Nandagopal, a player himself, Kidambi Srikanth picked up the sport when he was 8, and joining Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy as a 15-year-old was a turning point for the young shuttler. Having been a lazy and careless kid, it was the environment at the academy that disciplined him and made him serious about badminton as a career.

Srikanth played doubles too in his early playing years. Later on, he switched his focus completely on singles on the advice of his coach at the academy. Needless to say, the whole world has seen the feats achieved by the shuttler in the international circuit since then.

Apart from winning 6 Superseries titles so far, the Padma Shri awardee has many other Grand Prix titles and runners’ medals to his credit. Let’s have look at 5 memorable moments of Srikanth Kidambi’s career so far.

5. India Open 2019- The first final since the French Open title in 2017

Picture Source: Twitter

The summit clash at the India Open 2019 was the former numero Uno’s first finals in 17 months since the title at French Open in 2017. Despite losing the final to Viktor Axelsen, it was still a sweet podium finish after a long drawn title draught. He went down in straight games and seemed totally off the mark in the first game with many unforced errors and inability to keep the shuttle in play and construct rallies.  After blowing up two match points in the second game, Srikanth’s chance to end the title drought came crashing down with a scoreline of 7-21, 20-22.

4. India Open Superseries Title, 2015

Picture Source: Twitter

This was his first major international title on home soil. After becoming the first Indian to win the Swiss Open Grand Prix by beating the Danish Viktor Axelsen in the finals, he beat him yet again for a podium finish at the India Open. The crowd at Siri Fort Complex, New Delhi erupted in cheer as they watched Srikanth Kidambi prevail over Axelsen in a spectacular 55-minute encounter with a scoreline of 18-21, 21-13 and 21-12.

3. A title-studded 2017

Srikanth Kidambi scripted history in 2017. Srikanth became the first Indian to win four Superseries title in one season, an unprecedented feat. After Lee Chong Wei, Lin Dan and Chen Long he is the fourth player in the world to do so. One by one he conquered four titles: the Indonesia Open, Australian Open, Denmark Open and French Open.

2017 was a year that completely belonged to Srikanth. The victories were sweeter as it came after a slump in performance due to a terrible ankle injury. It was a hard time for Srikanth to keep up his positivity and fitness as the injury had been nagging.

2. 2014 China Open title beating Super Dan

Picture Source: Twitter

It was a decent run for Kidambi Srikanth in the first half of 2014. He made an appearance in the finals of the 2014 India Open Grand Prix in Lucknow, followed by quarterfinals at the Malaysian Open.

It was a thrilling showdown at the final of the 2014 China Open, Fuzhou. The lanky Indian was up against the 2-time Olympic champion and 5-time world champion Lin Dan. The home crowd was all in cheer for their home town star Dan. It almost seemed like Srikanth had no chance to win at all in the Chinese home ground. But the lanky Indian left no stone unturned to tame the dragon in its own den in straight sets, 21-19 and 21-17. He was calm, determined, and showed aggression in his game. He became India’s first men’s singles player to win a Superseries title, also claiming his first of his career

1. Rise to the world number 1

Picture Source: Twitter

On 12 April 2018, the 25 year old rose to the top of the world rankings with a whooping 76,895 points. His sizzling form in 2017 helped him earn ranking points, catapulting his ranking upwards. He dethroned the tall and deceptive Viktor Axelsen. It was historic moment as he became the only Indian man to be the world number 1 after the legendary Prakash Padukone. He is the third Indian to have topped the table after Prakash Padukone (1980) and Saina Nehwal (2015).

The current world number 14’s start to 2020 has been underwhelming with three straight first round losses. Having struggled with injuries, the past couple years have been a roller coaster for him to find his form and fitness. He is ranked 22 on the Race to Tokyo rankings, after Sai Praneeth at number 13 who is highest ranked Indian in the Olympic Qualification. With the qualification period extended and the Olympic Games postponed, Srikanth has a chance to perform better and book a berth at Tokyo. Hoping the former world no 1 would give the Indian fans another memorable and historic medal at Tokyo Olympic Games.

Also Read: The historic clash between PV Sindhu and Carolina Marin- Rio Olympics Final, 2016 : A throwback

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