BWF making 12 tournaments from 10 tough call on players: Kidambi

New Delhi, Jan 17 : Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth has not been in the best of forms in the recent times. In the two competitions that he has taken part this year, Srikanth has suffered exits in the opening round itself.

Srikanth was knocked out of the Indonesia Masters 500 tournament after suffering a first-round defeat to local favourite Shesar Hiren Rhustavito. Before that, he had also made a first-round exit from the Malaysia Masters.

The shuttler, however, believes the hectic schedule is one of the reasons for his slump of form.

In 2018, BWF decided to re-structure the tour that year and made it mandatory for the top players to compete in at least 12 events — it had been ten mandatory tournaments before.

“BWF making 12 tournaments from 10 is a tough call on players,” said Srikanth. “It’s definitely not going to be easy. If you see, many players have been getting injured so it’s really important to pick and choose tournaments that I can play. I’m being very selective on the tournaments I’m playing now.”

In April 2018, Srikanth ascended to the top of the BWF rankings. Unfortunately, he was soon brought down by a spate of injuries. He had been carrying a leg injury from late 2017, and he spent most of 2018 nursing an ankle injury.

The tough calendar has put an added emphasis on warm-up and recovery for Srikanth as part of his fitness regime. “I’ve learnt it is important to do stretches first then some activations for every muscle — could be small movements with therabands — then probably some jogging, then some rotational exercises. After that I get on court to play,” the 26-year-old said.

“These last few months, I’ve been trying to do something or the other after every session like going to the pool, or getting a massage, maybe some deep-tissue releasing,” he added.

Srikanth, who is Red Bull Athlete, has found it difficult to be at his best in the last few months because he hasn’t found the time to focus on fitness and rest while balancing the load of having to play at least 12 tournaments a year. But, he is planning to reclaim the World No. 1 rank again soon.

/IANS

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