Hounslow's Rajiv Ouseph admits consistency will be the name of the game as he leads the charge for Britain in the men’s singles at next week’s YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham.
The 28-year-old has enjoyed a solid start to the year results wise, with victory in the Swedish Masters last month before earning silver as part of the England squad at the European Mixed Team Championships.
Ouseph certainly has a reputation for raising his game when it comes to the big tournaments, although he admits consistently high performances is what he craves.
At last year’s YONEX All England, the men’s singles specialist upset seventh seed Du Pengyu in the first round but then crashed out in straight sets to Japan’s Kento Momota.
And with third seed Son Wan Ho lying in wait first up at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena this time around on March 3, Ouseph knows nothing but the best will be good enough.
“The main goal for this year will be to win my first round match but it won’t be easy. The other thing I’m aiming for is consistency as that’s something I’ve been missing at the start of the year,” he said.
“The Europeans Team Championships were good for me and I managed to get a good couple of wins.
“I need to take that form into the All Englands, the world’s best players are going to be there and so there is no easy game. I need to keep my level high throughout and not let it drop.”
“Playing in the All England Championships is very special. I’ve watched it since I was a young kid, it’s a big deal for the players all around the world and with it being the first big tournament of the year there’s that extra excitement.”
A seven-time national singles champion, Ouseph has long been one of Britain’s leading singles players although it is mixed doubles pairing Chris and Gabby Adcock, ranked six in the world, who are seen as the biggest hope for home success in Birmingham.
The three combined last summer to help England take mixed team silver at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and Ouseph admits he is desperate to help fly the flag for British singles hopes on the world stage.
“We had a bit of a drop in the last couple of years but now we are slowly getting a good bunch of top badminton players together. We are looking a lot stronger,” he added.
“It was a great experience to go to Glasgow which was like another home games. We did well getting the silver in the team event and it’s another stepping stone for us pushing on as a sport.
“We have a strong doubles outfit in Chris and Gabby Adcock but we have not been as strong in the singles. It needs someone to push on and I hope I can be that person.”
Tickets for the YONEX All England 2015 at the stunning new Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham are available at allenglandbadminton.com or call the box office on 0844 444 9994.