How exciting is it to be playing at home in the Yonex Sunrise India Open against some of the top players of the world? Does it add to the pressure?
I want to win. It is interesting that I won most of the tournaments in front of my home crowd. The Commonwealth Games, Asian Satellite Tournament, the Junior World Cup were all won at home. I am sorry that my performance was not good in the previous chapters of super series in India. I want to win the super series in front of my lovely crowd at home. If you want to win you have to play against world top class players. It is interesting to defeat them.
You have an easy opener, but the line-up thereafter seems pretty solid. How do you look at your chances this year considering the tough draw?
No problem. I have to give my 100 per cent only then will the wins come.
Last year, you made a dramatic exit in the second round, with a controversial line call that you said upset your rhythm. Do those things still play at the back of your mind when you come into the same tournament?
I was injured a few days earlier to my match and some misjudgment in the match got me distracted and that caused my exit from the tournament. The past is past. I always look at the present.
How do you assess your year so far?
It's been OK. Let us see how I perform in the upcoming tournaments.
How disappointed were you crashing out in the quarterfinals of the Swiss Open and the All-England this year? The second round Malaysia Open exit must have also been tough...
It happens with each one of us. After doing so well in practice, performance at tournaments is not good. It is also luck also which gives one a slight edge.
You are now No. 8 in the world from No. 6 in December last year. What do you think are the reasons for the drop in rankings? Are you confident of arresting the slide this year?
Ranking is directly co-related with one's wins. One or two victories will make lot of difference. I will try to improve my ranking with better a show in coming tournaments.
You defeated PV Sindhu in the Indian Grand Prix final this year. How much do you enjoy the battle with her? And are you confident of repeating the result, since you might cross paths again this tournament?
She my junior mate and I like her game. She is one of the best women players in India,
Finally, have you set any goals for yourself by this year end, in terms of rankings or tournaments?
To show better performances in the coming Commonwealth Games and Asian Games is my motto.