Soon-to-be world number two Kidambi Srikanth on Tuesday, October 31 spoke in favour of match-winning abilities of Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan despite the badminton greats' struggles in the recent past.
Both Chong Wei and Lin, who share 63 Superseries titles between them, have seen mixed results in 2017.
Extra-ordinary start, ordinary year
The Malaysian great, unmindful of calls for his retirement, began the season strongly with a title-winning run at the All England Championships. However, his performances have dipped since then. Notably, the 35-year-old faced agonising early exits in Denmark and France and has reportedly decided to take some time out to assess his performances.
Lin won the Malaysia Superseries Premier and finished runner-up at the World Championships in Glasgow where Chong Wei was stunned as early as in the first round. However, the 34-year-old has not featured in any tournaments since his quarter-final exit at the Japan Open in September.
Srikanth, Axelsen dominate
In the meanwhile, the likes of Srikanth and newly-crowned world champion Viktor Axelsen have dominated the circuit, winning six Superseries titles between them in 2017.
Notably, the Indian shuttler became only the third men's singles badminton player after Lin, Chong Wei and reigning Olympic champion Chen Long to win four Superseries crowns in a calendar year.
No 'new world order'
However, Srikanth, who became the first Indian player to win the French Superseries earlier this week, believes that it is not the end of Lin and Chong Wei's domination of the sport. He denied that a new "world order" has been created in badminton, but inisists that the sport is heading in the right direction due to increased competition.
"I can't really say that it is the end [Chong Wei, Lin domination]. They really have the experience to come back. They have seen the highest level. You can't take them easily. Lin even reached the final of World Championships. So we really need to play well whenever we take them on," Srikanth said at a press conference in Hyderabad on Tuesday (October 31) after returning home from Paris.
He added: "For a long time, Chong Wei and Lin Dan have dominated. Now it has become more open. Myself, Viktor, Son [Wan Ho] are winning tournaments. Other Indian players are also doing well. These signs are always good for the sport.
"Now, anybody can beat anyone on their day. So you need to be at your best."