Srikanth credits Gopichand for all recent success – the two back-to-back Super Series titles and says, 'My focus is on World Championships, not thinking of rankings'
Ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth, who clinched back to back titles, has credited his success to current national coach Pullela Gopichand, saying the latter has been behind all the success of badminton in India.
Srikanth won the Indonesian Open Series and Australian Open Series within a week's time and made the entire nation proud.
The Indian shuttler defeated reigning Olympic champion Chen Long 22-20, 21-16 in the final of the Australia Open Super Series to win his second title in two weeks.
He had earlier won the Indonesia Open Super Series title on June 18.
"I think he is the man behind all the success of badminton today, here what we have. If he wouldn't have become a coach after he quit his playing career, all this wouldn't have been possible. So whatever we have today and whatever we will have in the next generations, it will be all because of him," said Srikanth on Tuesday while addressing the media in Hyderabad.
"He was the one who really started coaching seriously in India, who always thought India has the potential to be a world beater in badminton. His role would be very important in the coming years as well."
"Thanks to Gopi sir, it was not possible to make it without him, I couldn't have been where I am now," he added.
Srikanth has been in sensational form and has also improved his ranking. He jumped 11 places to reach the 11th spot after Indonesia Open Super Series victory. He, however, has achieved a career high ranking of number three.
In 2014, he won his biggest title as he defeated home favourite Lin Dan to win his maiden Super Series title at the China Open. But after that Srikanth took two years to win the premier tournaments in men's badminton.
His dream run, however, began in April this year as he reached the final of the Singapore Open.
Srikanth, who was awarded Rs. 3 lac by Gopichand Badminton Academy on the occasion, further asserted that the last two months have been fantastic for him.
"It has been fantastic for me in the last two months. After the injuries, I really didn't want to push myself too much and just wanted to train first, get better and start tournaments. And it really happened with the help of new coach and Gopi Sir," he said.
The badminton ace, who will be playing next in World Championships scheduled in August, said he would try to train hard and perform his best there.
"It's good to be back in top ten for sure. But I didn't play these tournaments just to come back in top 10 but to win them and even in World Championship's I will look to perform well and win. That's the only thing that I am thinking about and not the rankings," he said.
When asked about the biggest challenge in the last three weeks, Srikanth said, "Every match was tough for me."
"I think we are actually training very well now. In the last couple of months, I have been playing really well and up to my potential. I really want to continue training hard in the coming months because that's the only way to be consistent."
"I think every win was important for me. I don't really want to compare those wins and I will definitely say that this is one of my biggest win," he added.
With his latest wins, the 24-year-old is now the second most successful Indian badminton player in Super Series with four titles after ace women shuttler Saina Nehwal (10) and two ahead of Olympic medalist PV Sindhu (2). He is also number six on the list of men's super-series titles winners.
Image: Gopichand greets K Srikanth before a press conference in Hyderabad on Tuesday