Ki­dambi Nandagopal mak­ing a mark of his own

Sportstar - - INDIAN PLAYGROUND -

It is never easy to be the lesser­known brother of a cham­pion shut­tler. But, Ki­dambi Nandagopal is in the mood to carve a niche for him­self in dou­bles even as his il­lus­tri­ous brother and world No. 9 Srikanth is chas­ing his ul­ti­mate goal of win­ning an Olympic gold.

“Hon­estly, I never tell any­one about me be­ing his brother. I try to achieve what best I can and en­joy ev­ery mo­ment on the court,” says 26­year­old Nandagopal, fresh from three all­in­dia se­nior rank­ing dou­bles ti­tles (in­clud­ing two mixed dou­bles part­ner­ing K. Ma­nee­sha).

“I don’t think there is any pres­sure on me for I never think to em­u­late what Srikanth has achieved. Yes, I feel proud of him, but at the same time I am con­scious that I have to be in my own zone,” he says.

“We don’t have the time to dis­cuss our game since we train at dif­fer­ent acad­e­mies. Only when I am play­ing do I have some tele­phonic chats with Srikanth,” he said.

“The big­gest hand­i­cap for me is that I have no reg­u­lar part­ner right now and this has to be re­solved at the ear­li­est to look ahead and plan ac­cord­ingly,” says the dou­bles spe­cial­ist, who won the mixed dou­bles ti­tle in Cochin and men’s dou­bles and mixed dou­bles ti­tles in Bareilly re­cently.

V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

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