Having created history by defeating Lin ‘super’ Dan of China in his own backyard at the China Open Super Series Premier, K Srikanth has revealed that he always believed in his abilities and had backed himself to go all the way against the two-time Olympic gold medallist.
Srikanth said he was determined to give his best against the five-time World champion in the men’s singles final.
“I believed in myself that I can. I was not overconfident but I had the confidence that I had a chance, as I was playing really well in the tournament and also, we had a few strategies for that game (against Lin Dan in the finals), which really worked for me,” the 21-year-old told PTI here.
The World No. 8 Indian said he did not entertain any self doubt before the final and just wanted to fight till the end.
“There was a feeling that I am playing against a big player. But, you cannot feel, when you are playing in the finals that I may not be able to beat him. I wanted to give my best. My feeling was: I have to fight out. I should not leave it till the end,” Srikanth revealed.
The young shuttler said although his win against Lin Dan has raised expectations of his fans, he would not take any extra pressure.
“Now, people may know that there is a player called Srikanth. When I go out, people may watch my matches. But I don’t want to take this as pressure. I would just want to think that they are my well-wishers from India.
“When you go out to other country, it is good to know you have so many well-wishers back at home,” said Srikanth.
When pointed out that the Chinese players, who are a formidable force in world badminton, may come even more prepared to take him head-on in the future, Srikanth said he and his coach (India’s chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand) would plan for those matches as well.
“The way they plan, we also plan. Gopi sir watches all my matches. He knows my strong points and weak points. We are also trying to develop the overall game,” he said.