Kidambi Srikanth will replace Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen as the world’s top-ranked men’s singles player when the Badminton World Federation releases its next weekly rankings on Thursday.
Srikanth, 25, will be the first Indian man to accomplish the feat after the rankings were computerised. In 2015, Saina Nehwal became the first India shuttler to be ranked world number 1. “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 had missed the chance to top the charts last year – when he won four Super Series titles (in Indonesia, Australia, Denmark, France)but missed out because of injury in the later half of the year.