XtraTime Web Desk: Coming Thursday can become a ‘Red Letter Day’ in Indian badminton, as ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth is all set to become the no.1 player in the world by replacing Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen.
Srikanth will be the first Indian male player to achieve this feat and will join Saina Nehwal, who became the first Indian girl to become world No. 1. In March 2015, Saina had scaled the summit and remains the only Indian girl to achieve this feat thus far.
“We’ve been anxiously waiting for this moment. He should have become No. 1 last year but injury prevented him from playing the year-end tournaments. Had he reached quarterfinals in a couple of those tournaments he could have become No. 1. Though Srikanth won’t gain any points, Axelsen losing 1660 points will be good enough for the Indian,” Md Maqdoom Ahmed, a badminton analyst for the Sports Authority of India (SAI) was quoted as saying by Times of India.
Srikanth won four Super Series titles – Indonesia, Australia, Denmark, France – in 2017 and became only the fourth shuttler in the world to achieve this feat. He had secured the No.2 ranking on November 2, 2017
Reigning world champion Viktor Axelsen has 77130 points but will lose 1660 points and slip down the ladder because he will be unable to defend the Malaysian Open title that he had won last year.
Srikanth, who helped India clinch a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games on Monday in mixed team badminton event, will move to the top of rankings with 76,895 points.