New Delhi, Aug 10 : India's table tennis star Sharath Kamal believes his price as a player will go up after becoming world number 39 in the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings.
The lanky player from Chennai feels the improved ranking will get him easier draws in the international circuit and the best clubs would want him more than earlier when he was 76th in the world.
"Now on I will be getting direct entry to major ITTF Pro Tour events, the best clubs in the world would want me and I will get to play in more tournaments and that means more money, Kamal told IANS.
Kamal's consistent performances in the last three months pushed him up the ranking ladder. After reaching the semi-finals of the India Open in June, he won back to back titles at the U. S and the Egypt Open in July. He hopes to sustain his ranking and try and break into the top 30s.
"It is very important to hold on to the position, it is tough. I can't afford a slip in the rankings, I have to think of making the top 30 in the next one year," said Kamal.
He leaves for China next week for a month-long tour with the Indian team. They will play in the China Open, starting August 18, and then stay there for training ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
Kamal, who won gold in individual and team events in Melbourne Commonwealth Games, says making pre-quarter-finals of the China Open would be great. Unfortunately for him, despite his current ranking he will have to qualify for the China Open since the entries for the tournament closed much before the rankings were announced.
"China Open is tough, all the top players will be there. Since the new rankings came out in the first week, I will still have to play in the qualifying rounds to get into the main draw. I hope I play to my potential and make the main draw," concluded Kamal. (IANS)