Mumbai: Having broken into the top 20 world ranking this year, Indian shuttler R M V Gurusaidutt says he's happy to have achieved the goal he had set out for himself.
"This has been a good year for me as whatever tournaments I have played, I have given my best. It has been an up and down season for me but I am happy to have achieved my goal of being in top 20 at the end of the year," said Guru, who today entered the semi-finals of the men's singles in the Tata Open India International Challenge in progress here.
Guru had breached the top 20 last month when he was ranked 19th for four weeks in November before slipping out. He is currently ranked 22nd. Guru reckoned his feat of overcoming world no. 11 Hu Yun of Hong Kong as the pick of his victories during 2013.
"For me the highlight of the year was beating world no. 11 Hu Yun of Hong Long. I made it to the quarterfinal stage of four Super Series (events). So it has been quite satisfying." Guru, who won a bronze medal in the world juniors five years ago, considers 2014 as a very important year with so many major events coming up and he wants to maintain his fitness. "I want to keep playing at the same level and keep going as 2014 is an important year with Thomas Cup, Commonwealth Games (in Glasgow, Scotland) and Asian Games (in Incheon, South Korea) coming up.
"I need to maintain my fitness. It is important to get into the Indian team and play as per the best of my abilities and fitness." The 23-year-old shuttler praised national coach P Gopichand for raising the depth of Indian men's team.
"Gopi sir has changed our team and standards. We have eight sparring partners in his academy (in Hyderabad). It is quite useful as all are in the top 20," he pointed out.