Kidambi Srikanth has risen two places to a career-high No 2 in the latest BWF men’s singles ratings. This proves how potent a force he has become in world badminton in 2017. The 24-year-old shuttler has been in prolific form this season. He has claimed an Indian record of four Super Series titles. It has helped him reach 73,403 rating points, the best ever by an Indian male badminton player. He is second to Viktor Axelsen, whom he eliminated from last week’s Denmark Open in the quarter-finals. In related news, HS Prannoy has moved up one spot to 11th in the men’s singles rankings. In the women’s rankings, PV Sindhu remains at No 2 and Saina Nehwal at 11th.
It truly has been a remarkable year for Kidambi Srikanth. He finished runner-up in the final of the Singapore Open Super Series, where he lost to compatriot B Sai Praneeth. It was historic in a way because this was the first time two Indian shuttlers reached a Super Series final.
Srikanth’s first Super Series titles came when he beat Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai 21-11, 21-19 to win the Indonesia Open. A week later, he beat Chen Long in straight games 22-20, 21-16 to claim the Australia Open. With these wins, he became the first Indian to claim back-to-back Super Series titles and subsequently broke into the top ten of the BWF men’s singles rankings for the first time in ten months, up to eighth.
In October, Kidambi Srikanth became the second Indian after Prakash Padukone to win the Denmark Open, the second Indian, after Saina, and first male to claim three Super Series in a year. History was made a week later, when he lifted the French Open by beating Kento Nishimoto 21-14, 21-13. With this, Srikanth moved from No 4 to a career-high No 2 in the BWF men’s singles rankings.
Also in 2017, Srikanth reached the quarter-finals of the Badminton World Championships. With this string of successes, Srikanth has grabbed top spot in the Destination Dubai Rankings – a yearly ranking system which factors in performances across the 12 annual Super Series and determines the top eight and looks a prime contender for the Super Series Final title in December.
Srikanth’s rise over the past 18 months included a successful 2016, in which he won two gold medals in the men’s team and men’s singles of the 2016 South Asian Games, followed by reaching the quarter-finals of the Rio Olympics. For his successful 2016, Srikanth was the recipient of the Times of India Sports Award (TOISA) for Badminton Player of the Year [People’s Choice] earlier this year.