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jj009 Offline



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24.10.2019 14:26
London Olympics and also recorded the first appearance by any Indian in the final of the Super Series M Antworten

Three months after they last competed internationally - at the 2016 Olympics, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa have decided to part ways for the second time in their career. On Monday, Gutta was back on the court at Hyderabads Gopichand Academy, where the national camp is underway. Ashwini Ponnappa, was also practicing, but a couple of courts away.The two, who formed easily the most successful doubles partnership in Indian badminton, had previously split back in 2013, before reuniting a few months later after limited success with other partners. This time around Gutta says the split of the pair ranked 26 in the world, is likely to be permanent. I wont be playing any more with Ashwini. I wont be playing womens doubles either, said Gutta, who first paired up with Ponnappa just before the Commonwealth Games in 2010.Gutta said her decision to end her womens doubles career stemmed from the one she made to split with Ponnappa, with whom she featured in two Olympics, won a Commonwealth Games gold, bronze medals at the world championships and Asian Games and two more bronze at the Uber Cup team championships.I am not at the stage of my career where I want to groom a junior, said the 32-year-old.Gutta will now play mixed doubles with Manu Attri, who featured in the mens doubles event at the Rio Games. Ponnappa will continue her womens doubles career, partnering Sikki Reddy.While hinting at unnecessary external factors, Gutta says she knew that the partnership had run its course at the Rio Olympics, where she and Ponnappa exited following three straight defeats in the group stage. I realized that Ashwini and I werent growing as a pair. I felt that we were stagnating. Whenever I expected a lot, the results were not coming. So I thought, why dont I let her play with someone else? It was a very difficult decision to make, but one that had to be made. The parting she says was a mutual one. Ashwini and I have had many good times and I would like to keep it like that, she said.Meanwhile, Gutta said she had always enjoyed playing mixed doubles. She had had plenty of success in her partnership with V Diju, which ended following the 2013 India Open Super Series. With Diju she reached a peak world ranking of 6, qualified for the London Olympics and also recorded the first appearance by any Indian in the final of the Super Series Masters Finals. She had, however, played the mixed event only intermittently following her partnership with Diju. I kind of missed playing mixed doubles. Ive enjoyed my phase of playing womens doubles. So why dont I play mixed doubles again, she said.Attri and Gutta have played together before - at the 2013 French Open - where they lost in the opening round. Attri, now 23, is far more experienced and while Gutta hasnt partnered him in any competitions since, she is confident the two can gel well. I can develop a new facet of my game.Ponnappa too will have to adapt. She has been practicing with Reddy for a little over a month now. In the past, Ponnappa would take up the running and smashing duties near the baseline while Gutta lurked menacingly at the net. Sikki likes to move as well, so it wont just be at the back of the court any more. We are still learning how to combine though, Ponnappa said.Ponappa knows it could be slow going. In the past, she was the junior partner to the more experienced Gutta. The roles will be reversed with Reddy, who at 23, is four years younger than Ponnappa.Partnerships take time to develop. Jwala had tons of experience. She shouldered the responsibility really well. And then we just clicked. With Sikki again I expect it will take a little time, she said.Ponnappa and Reddy will play their first tournament together - The Scotland Open -- in a couple of weeks. We are practicing together but we will get a lot more clarity on how we play together at a tournament, says Ponnappa. While the lightweight field at the Grand Prix event make it an ideal testing ground, Ponnappa has a bigger target. Our goal is to eventually qualify for the All England Super Series (in March) next year, she said.Gutta meanwhile hopes to return at the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold event at the end of the month but says she will likely make the Syed Modi GP Gold tournament in January next year. On the wrong side of 30, she however has more modest ambitions. I wouldnt say Im at the prime of my career. I just want to enjoy my time on the court in the last few years that I am playing. 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