For someone 19 years old, Sankar Muthusamy Subramanian has his head in the right place.
Before June, Subramanian had been trying to crack the code without success at HSBC BWF World Tour Super 300 events since his solitary appearance at the Syed Modi India International in January last year.
Having fallen at four subsequent tournaments in the qualifying rounds, the former junior world No.1 has now made the main draw at two successive Super 300s – last month’s Taipei Open and now YONEX US Open 2023.
Not that he’s prepared to bring out the champagne in celebration.
“I don’t look or plan too far ahead. I work in blocks, my focus now is the next six months. Only with short-term goals you can make it long term,” the lefthander said confidently after defeating the more experienced B. R. Sankeerth 21-11 21-17 at the Mid America Center on Tuesday.
Subramanian, through to play eighth seed Nhat Nguyen in the opening round, added: “For me right now, it’s one match at a time. Of course, every player goes into a tournament wanting to win it but I’m just focusing on each point. I’m looking forward to the next battle.”
Pressed on his career ambition, the 2022 World Junior Championships silver medallist said: “To be on the circuit for many years like my favourite player Lin Dan. I want to be at my peak for 10-15 years. I need to find that consistency.
“I have the confidence I can compete at a high level but confidence alone isn’t enough. I need to put in the hard work. So many players, so many competitions. In India alone a lot of talented juniors are coming up. It’s good to see but how to stay ahead of them? Hard work, always.”