How much of luck matters in badminton?
I believe luck matters in every sport. On a good day, I might be able to get my smashes right to every bit. But on a bad day, I might not even hit a single smash with precision. That’s just bad luck or bad timing. And that applies to every sportsperson. A good or bad day can be the difference between Kohli connecting a perfect cover drive or Roger Federer hitting a perfect one-handed backhand smash down the line. Smashing Success Smashing Success Smashing Success
What is your next target?
My target is and has always been to win a medal for my country at the Olympics, preferably a gold medal obviously. And with the Olympics around the corner, I am working extremely hard to achieve my target now.
How intensive are your trainings?
We don’t train with a lot of intensity. We train hard while following our daily regimes. Too much intensity while training isn’t good for the body as it can lead to a strain which can lead to an injury. But while playing a match, we need to up our game and a little bit of adrenaline also helps in increasing the intensity so that I can perform at full potential.
Which was the turning point of your career?
I think the year 2014 was the turning point of my career. I was coming back into action after being injured continuously for a while and had to find my rhythm to get back into the game. The fact that I was able to get a lot of international exposure by playing various tournaments and also faring well in most of them gave me a lot of confidence. I managed to reach the semi-finals of most of the major tournaments I played in and also won the All India Senior National Ranking Championship. The real highlight was reaching the finals of the Vietnam Open Grand Prix. All these achievements gave me a lot of confidence that even after an injury-laden spell, I was able to perform consistently. There-on, I started winning on a regular basis.
My target is and has always been to win a medal for my country at the Olympics
What do defeats teach?
Defeats are a part of the game and teach us that success cannot be taken for granted. My defeats keep me grounded and help me avoid getting comfortable and complacent when I am playing at the top of my game.
What do you do in your free time?
I usually like to binge-watch TV shows or watch movies. My favourite TV show is the sitcom Friends.
Which is the best match of your career?
It is hands down the match where I defeated my idol Cheng Long at the Indonesian Open. Cheng Long was dominating the tournament for many years, but I managed to pull the upset of the tournament. Even though I felt I did not have to fight that hard, I was just ecstatic to even be able to play against him. It was an honour to play against him.
How do you handle the pressure?
I try to keep things as simple as possible. I know that if I have trained hard and prepared well, I can perform to my full potential. And a little bit of pressure is also good for the performance. It pushes you to do better.
Your advice for budding players?
There is no substitute for hard work. And success will never come your way if you take the shortcut instead of the high road. Just keep training as hard as you can and always remain focused. Don’t give up no matter how difficult it gets for you. Make your passion your priority, and nothing will be able to stop you from being successful.