Former world No.1 Kidambi Srikanth is working on getting his consistency back as he charts his journey back up the men’s singles ranking.
Despite defeating an in-form Kunlavut Vitidsarn in straight games in the PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2023 presented by DAIHATSU second round today, Kidambi refused to look too far ahead.
For the 30-year-old captain of India’s 2022 Sudirman Cup-winning team, consistency is the magic word.
“I feel I should be consistent throughout tournaments, consistent for one whole week to win any event. That’s something I haven’t been able to do. Happy with the performance but just want to keep improving from here,” said Kidambi after his 21-19 21-19 win.
Kidambi, who topped the world ranking for a week in 2018, has been struggling for form of late – he exited six of his seven tournaments this year before the quarterfinal stage.
To help fix the slide and steer his Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualification, he has roped in Indonesian coach Wiempie Mahardi, a former top 25 player himself. Although he is yet to properly train under Mahardi due to other commitments, including at the Badminton Asia Championships, Kidambi sees the result against Vitidsarn as a good sign for the collaboration.
“I was in Dubai when he came to India. Then I was involved in the national selection trials for the Asian Games. But yes, this as a positive beginning,” he said.
Today’s win is Kidambi’s maiden one over a top 10 player since beating Jonatan Christie in the HYLO Open quarterfinals eight tournaments ago in November. It’s also his first over the Thai world No.5 in four meetings.
“I didn’t really start well in both games so I’m just happy I finished it off,” said Kidambi. “The last few tournaments I wasn’t able to do that. I gave away leads and when that happens, it’s always tough to catch up. Today was about being there and not giving out easy points.”
Kidambi’s quarterfinal opponent is Indonesian youngster Christian Adinata.
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