Your Fitness mantra
My mantra is, “What the mind can believe, the body can achieve”.
When did you start playing?
I started playing at the age of 8. My dad and his friend would go to the Goregaon Sports Club to play badminton in the evenings, I used to tag along with them so that I could skip school work. My dad eventually enrolled me into coaching there, in order to keep me busy. Since then, I’ve never looked back.
Are you a Predator or a Buddha?
I am a mixture of both. In general, I am calm until I enter the stadium, I don’t talk much and prepare myself for the tournament. But, when I enter the court I am a Predator, really aggressive.
One win that you are very proud of
I won the Iran International Challenge this February. I am very proud of this win because it is my first senior title at the challenger level after losing 2 challenges earlier.
Something that you truly believed in
I believe I could be a top international badminton player.
The toughest punishment given by your coach
I had to run for an hour around the ground at 12 p.m., due to bad behavior on court.
Your ultimate achievement?
Winning an Olympic Gold medal for India would be my ultimate achievement.
How will you want to be known in 10 years from now?
I want to be known as someone who gave it all on the court and never gave up.
In what area of the game do you think you have to improve?
My speed on court is something I am working on. I also need to increase the power of my smashes from the backcourt.
I met Lee Yong Dae at the India Open last year. I was really excited when I met him. It was a privilege to meet a doubles specialist and Olympic Gold medalist.
The opponent you dislike playing with?
I don’t like playing with the Indonesian players. I dislike their playing style on the court.
During ‘Do or Die’ situations?
I think the ability to take risks and being calm and focused is what matters during such crunch situations.
What are the most common roadblocks athletes
I think people need to believe in themselves to achieve their dreams. Lack of faith in one’s self is probably the biggest roadblock.
The greatest influence in your life?
I think my parents have the greatest influence in my life. They know me the best. I am what I am today, because of the sacrifices they make.
My short-term goal is to break into the top 30 in the BWF world ranking by the end of the year. My long-term goal would be to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games and winning a gold medal for India.
On your bucket list?
I want to go to Ibiza with my friends, buy an Audi A8 and also go for a deep sea water diving.
Plans with your prize money?
I will give it to my parents.The gift would be all the happiness in the world. I would also gift myself an Audi A8.
What is your funniest childhood memory?
Once, I was dressed as a peacock for my school annual day when I was in grade 5. I looked very funny. I’m not sharing that picture, it’s in my secret vault.
One moment that you won’t forget
I will never forget the moment I lost the Junior National Finals in 2013.
The naughtiest moment during school days?
I used to bunk my French classes at school and drink tea with my PT sir in his cabin.
One message to your opponents
I have arrived, and I am here to stay. All the best.