Srikanth, we have seen many players start their journey with this academy and they are now on their own. How long are you staying at this academy?
Can you name a few players who have left PV Sindhu, ok who else. I have no plans to leave this academy.
You have arrived where no Indian has ever been. Do you think you are the greatest Indian men’s single player?
I can’t say i’m the best People have to tell. Personally, I feel like I could do a lot better. If I win a medal at all the big events, I can say after my retirement. But I don’t want to talk about it now.
Who do you think is the toughest player among Indian men’s singles?
I feel like everyone is tough. Everyone has a unique style of play. When I play it, I find it very difficult. If I don’t play my best, I can’t win against any of them.
Who are the best in the world now?
At the moment we have Momota, Axelsen, Antonsen, Loh, Chou Tien Chou etc. But what is important at big events is that you have to play exceptionally well in that hour. If you don’t play well for that hour, your preparation will be lost. Look, nobody expected Momota to lose. This hour is very important.
You missed very important years because of a knee injury. Do you think you have passed this phase?
At the moment I have the feeling that the injury phase is over. I am confident in the way I move on the pitch. Now it’s about improvements.
Have you ever analyzed why you got injured?
I injured myself playing. It took a long time to find the reason. But now I know the reason and we are careful not to get hurt again.
Who do you choose to be your successor?
Lakshya is doing very well. I see how many young people do well in training here. Priyanshu, Sai Charan Koya, Siril, Rahul there are many talented youngsters.
After missing the gold, how do you plan for the World Championships next year?
The next year is a very important one. There is no time to celebrate that silver medal. From January 10th we have India Open, All England, then Commonwealth Games, World Championships and Asian Games. But I’m glad that I really climaxed at the right time. My only focus is to keep this up and get better from here. The next eight to ten months are very important to me. Even if I played in the final, there will definitely be some negatives. And I want to talk to Gopi Anna and find out what went wrong.
Did a tough semi-final against Lakshya affect your performance in the final?
I do not think so. At such large events, it is quite common to play such large matches. In the final I had my chances again. It wasn’t that I lost it easily. I was in the lead in the first and also towards the end of the second set. But I couldn’t really control my mistakes.
What are the positive aspects of this tournament?
I just loved the way I played. What I loved most was that I could be aggressive throughout the tournament. That gave me a lot of confidence.
Were you under pressure in the final?
Everyone is under pressure in a World Cup final. I feel like I made some mistakes. But Loh played well after 18-16, he controlled his emotions, I have to work on that.
How difficult was your semi-final against Lakshya. What was going on in your head
I’ve watched his progress. He plays exceptionally well. Before the game, I wanted to play well and win the game. I gave everything I got. That’s why I got so tired. I expected it to be tough and I was ready for anything. But I had a feeling that Olympia wasn’t the end of the world and I’ll get chances to prove myself
Do you think that given the weak field at the World Cup, you missed your best chance of winning gold?
I don’t think it was weak. Because everyone was playing when they left Momota. When I reached a final, I’m just happy with the way I played. I will work on that and improve myself.
How disappointed are you not to qualify for the Olympics?
Actually, I was still the top ranked player in the world. I was 14th at the time and should have qualified. In the first qualifying phase I wasn’t fit and couldn’t play tournaments. But in the second phase I was fit and even reached the semifinals of the Swiss Open. But the other tournaments have been canceled. You can’t help it
Do you think this medal is the best answer for all of your critics?
I don’t really want to say that. I just want to prove that I’m best with myself. I always believed that I had it in me and kept working hard. I am happy that I have arrived where I am today. I want to keep my head down and work hard. I will try to win as many tournaments as possible.
2017 was a dream year for you and you won it in 2021. When do you think you played the best badminton?
I’m playing well now compared to 2017. I had to work two to three times as much as in 2017.
How many more years do you think you can go on?
I do not know. All I know, I want to work hard and will continue to work hard. I’ll see how long my body takes, I’ll work hard. I will play as many tournaments as possible and win as many as possible. For the next four to five years I want to work hard and do well.