Can three defeats in a row be a boon or bane?
If P. Kashyap's recent performance is anything to go by, it is a blessing in disguise.
Ranked 31 in the world, Kashyap made his first-ever final in the Thailand International series earlier this month, but lost to second seeded Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-23,14-21.
One would have been in the dumps, but it was an achievement for this 22-year-old. The mere thought of reaching an international summit clash boosted his confidence. Next up, was the Spanish International where he again reached the final.
But for a twisted ankle, Kashyap missed out and lost 10-21, 16-21 to fifth seed Hans-Kristian Viltinghus.
"The physio didn't travel with us but I somehow managed to play on. Such was the pain that I wasn't even sure if I could play the upcoming tournament," said Kashyap.
He did, but the troubled ankle again poured water on his title hopes as he suffered a straight-game defeat to Rajiv Ouseph of England in the final of the Open Volant d'Or in Toulouse in France.
" Looking back, I still feel I would have won the last two if only I hadn't sprained my ankle. Everything had worked according to plan," he said.
The outcome didn't matter but the performance did. In mid-May, Kashyap was handed a wild card entry for the World
Championships to be held at Hyderabad in August. "It's a golden chance for me. I am happy to have earned it. But it didn't strike me that I'd get entry as I was trailing behind Anup (Shridhar) in terms of rankings. But my performance in the Asian Badminton Championship, where I reached the quarters, shot up my ranking from 43rd to 35th" and before I could realise, I was eight rungs above Anup," said an elated Kashyap.
National coach, Pullela Gopichand, seemed unmoved by Kashyap's failings. " I would see his losses as an achievement. Kashyap is moving up fast. He has been consistent."
The shuttler has now has set his sight on Indonesia Super Series and the Malaysia GP Gold starting 16 and 26 June respectively. Asked if a runner-up finish would satisfy him, pat came the reply: "Everyone wants to win, and this time nothing but a win will do."