New Delhi: Top Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap says that he is geared up to use the home advantage to the hilt and win the Yonex Sunrise India Open which will be held here later this month.
Asked about the pressure on being billed as one of the contenders for the tournament, 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 expectations from my fans. It only helps me perform better."
The world number eight sounded optimistic about his chances in the April 23-28 USD 200,000 tournament. "I have a very good chance of winning the tournament this time and am hoping to become the first Indian to win the Yonex Sunrise India Open," said Kashyap. The 26-year-old Kashyap qualified for the 2012 London Olympics in the previous edition here. He went on to reach the quarterfinals in the London Games.
"I always enter a tournament aiming to win and nothing changes in the Yonex Sunrise India Open. I have lot of points to defend, but my focus will be to win the tournament," said Kashyap, the winner of the 2012 Syed Modi India Grand Prix Gold tournament. The Hyderabadi has stormed into the Badminton World Federation's top-10 rankings in the last four months and he said it had helped as he has been a seeded player in most of tournaments he participated since.
"It hasn't been long that I broke into 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," he said.
Kashyap was knocked out of quarterfinals of this year's All England Open but he said the tournament had helped him a lot in learning 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 it will definitely help me in Yonex Sunrise India Open," he said.