New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) World No.8 shuttler Parupalli Kashyap is ready to utilise the home advantage to the hilt in the forthcoming $200,000 India Open.
The London Olympics quarterfinalist is optimistic about his chances at India’s biggest badminton tournament to be held here from April 23-28.
“I have a very good chance of winning the tournament this time and am hoping to become the first Indian to win India Open and lead the way for my compatriots,” said Kashyap Saturday.
The 26-year-old’s career dramatically changed last year at the same tournament when he qualified for the 2012 Olympics, piping Mumbai’s Ajay Jayaram.
“I always enter a tournament aiming to win and nothing changes here. I have lot of points to defend but my focus will be to win the tournament,” said Kashyap, who won his first tier three tournament in India in Lucknow, clinching the 2012 Syed Modi India Grand Prix Gold in December.
“It has not been very long that I broke into the top-10. Things have changed suddenly for me and from being an underdog I have started appearing as a top-seeded player. It proves that anyone can shift gears and be a force to reckon with. I take every match seriously and avoid getting complacent,” added the Hyderabadi.
On being billed as one of the contenders for India’s only Super Series tourney, Kashyap said, “The tag of being one of the tournament favourites is actually a good thing and motivating. At no point do I feel any pressure due to the expectations from my fans. It only helps me perform better.”
Kashyap, who was knocked out of the quarterfinals of this year’s All England Open, said the tournament helped him a lot and he has learnt from his mistakes.
“I was playing well in the All England. But made a few errors that cost me the tournament. I have definitely carried a lot of positives from All England and they will definitely help me here,” he signed off.