Injuries have put a dampener on his hopes of clambering up the ladder in 2015 but 2016 is one-year Indian shuttler RMV Gurusaidutt is really looking forward to in his bid to make his performance do all the talking.
The 25-year-old Hyderabad lad, who played his part in Mumbai Rockets’ runners-up finish in the Premier Badminton League (PBL), spoke about his game and much more in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda.
Here are the excerpts:
Well, it was overall a great experience playing for Mumbai Rockets – we had a good team and a lot of positivity within the team. Also sharing thoughts with the more experienced players was beneficial for me.
Q: How will you rate your own individual performance for Mumbai Rockets in the Premier Badminton League?
I had a win/loss record of 3/3, I started off well beating Sai Praneeth in the opening PBL match and that gave me a lot of confidence. I did struggle a bit against Rajiv Ouseph but I really felt I could've pulled off 1 or 2 matches more for my team.
Q: Do you think the Premier Badminton League – which was held after a gap of three years – is going to create more popularity for the sport in the country?
Definitely! The response from the people and the way BAI and Star Sports went about their task was phenomenal. If this continues to happen we can see the popularity of the sport increasing and more kids taking up badminton.
Q: You battled with several injuries over the last twelve months. How frustrating it is coping with such injuries.
It is very frustrating for a player to go through injuries. I had multiple injuries over the last one year or so and right now my right knee is injured, but I need to understand that it's quiet common in sports and think of what best we can do to recover and try not to repeat it. I also shouldn't get bogged down by it.
Q: You reached a career-best ranking of 19 in 2013 – do you think your best is yet to come?
Yes, I was 19 in the world, then I dropped to 65 due to injuries and couple of bad performances. I do believe in hard work, so I'm just waiting to recover completely so that I can bounce back by staying fresh – my best is yet to come for sure.
Q: What are the areas you need to improve on to climb up the ladder?
At the moment I need to work on my stroke quality and strength and good training of 4-6 weeks will get me back in good shape, Of course, being injury-free is the most important thing right now as I can't afford to lose any more time.
Q: There is a need for extensive television coverage of badminton on all sports channels like cricket for the sport to sustain its popularity. Your thoughts.
I agree that television coverage is the most important aspect for growth of badminton . Popularity is directly proportional to an increase in the number of players along with their consistent performance. However, comparing it with cricket is not a right thing to do now as they have matches scheduled round the year along with IPL. All in all, I would say that badminton is growing well in our country and events like PBL will make the sport even more popular.
Q: How do you assess the health of Indian badminton?
I believe badminton is gaining attention more than ever before. With Saina Nehwal becoming world number 1, the sport has attracted many kids to take it up as a career. With the crowd that showed up at PBL, I can definitely say that it is slowly gaining fame and attention it requires.
Q: What are your thoughts on your overall performance in 2015 and what you are looking forward to in 2016?
I can say that last year had not been the best of the years as I wasn't consistent with my performance due to my injuries. I had been bogged down by multiple injuries that lined up due to which my performance and ranking degraded. I couldn't train the way I wanted due to the injuries. However, I started this year on a good note with a good number of wins in PBL. I am positive about getting some good results this year as I'm focusing mainly on my body and fitness so that I can avoid my injuries as much as possible.