By Sandip Sikdar
New Delhi, March 21:
India’s leading male shuttler Parupalli Kashyap is aiming for a return to the top-10 of world rankings which will help him get a favourable draw at the Aug 25-31 World Championships in Copenhagen.
A drastic dip in form has caused Kashyap to slide to World No.24 from a career-high of No.6 in May 2013. As a result, he faces a tough opener at the $250,000 India Open Super Series here April 1-6.
“I aim to be in the top-10 by the time of the World Championships as it is going to affect the draw like it has at the India Open. Because of my current ranking, I have not got a favourable draw in India and will have a tough first round match against China’s Zhengming Wang,” Kashyap, who has lost both his matches so far to Wang, told IANS from Hyderabad.
Preceding the Worlds are the July-August Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Glasgow but the 27-year-old isn’t too worried about the competition there. For him the Incheon Asian Games in September will be a tougher event than the World Championships.
“In the CWG, the draw doesn’t matter much. There are only a few top players from Malaysia and Singapore otherwise it should be easy going. I will take it from there and will try to up my performance for the Asian Games, which is tougher than the Worlds because of the large presence of the top Chinese, among others,” said the 2010 CWG bronze medallist.
Kashyap is glad to have reached the Swiss Open semifinal last week, his first noteworthy performance since the 2013 World Championship quarterfinal appearance.
“I am happy with my performance. I didn’t have much to speak of since the World Championships where I almost won the bronze. After a long time I had a good performance so I am happy. I had a couple of really good rounds and it should certainly help my confidence going into the India Open,” added the Hyderabadi.
Kashyap’s form slump has a lot to do with injuries. First, he sprained his ankle for a month during the Indian Badminton League (IBL) in August. This was followed by an eye injury before the Denmark Open in October. He also suffered from subluxation, a partial dislocation of shoulder in December, which he carries even now.
“I have had a bad phase since the Worlds. First the ankle sprain, then eye injury. By the time I got healed, I partially dislocated my left shoulder in December. Fitness-wise I am fine, but you can’t do anything about these freak injuries. I can’t afford to take a break as this is an important year and phase of my career,” said Kashyap.
“I had recovered from subluxation, but it resurfaced at the German Open. The shoulder keeps getting out of the socket and getting back in. But I am undergoing rehabilitation and I should be fine before the India Open. My physio is strapping the shoulder very hard for matches and I don’t feel much difference,” concluded Kashyap.