Doubly difficult at Uber Cup but Indians are ready: Jwala

Doubly difficult at Uber Cup but Indians are ready: Jwala

Clubbed with the mighty Chinese in the Uber Cup's group stage, India's best women's doubles player Jwala Gutta concedes it would be doubly difficult for her "brave team" to make the knockouts but it would still go full throttle with a positive mindset to make an impression at the prestigious event in Macau.

India are with China and Malaysia in Group W of the Uber Cup Preliminary Asia Zone to be held from February 13 to 19 and Jwala said she is up for the challenge and looking forward to the event."We had created history in the last edition when we reached the knockout stage but this time it would be tough. China, Malaysia in the group and I won't lie, it would be doubly difficult but I believe in being positive and I'm looking forward to the event," Jwala told PTI.

"Saina (Nehwal) will play the first singles and me and Ashwini (Ponnappa) will play the first doubles and I am focussing on taking out my match. China is a top-ranked team and they have top-ranked players in doubles as well. It is not going to be easy but it is part and parcel of the game.

"We have seen both good and bad draws and we don't have much of a choice. We have a brave team with lots of young players and it can help. I can just say, we will go full throttle with a positive mindset," added the shuttler, who along with Ashwini Ponnappa had won the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medal. 

Ashwini also admitted that that the Indians are facing a tough battle to go beyond the group stage.

"Well, realistically it is very tough but then in sports anything can happen and I want to focus on things which I can control and I am really looking forward to the contest," said Ashwini.

A 13-time national champion, Jwala also feels it would be a good opportunity for the young players.

"It is a great opportunity for them. Playing a team championship is different from playing in other tournaments and it would give them good exposure and experience which will help them in future as many of them will play in many more Uber Cups," she said.

Jwala said she is looking forward to qualify for the London Olympics and reckons this year is the best chance for India to win an Olympic medal.

"I am looking forward to the break before the Indian Open. It is the last tournament before the Olympic qualification is decided and I think it is the best chance we have to win a medal this year," Jwala said.

"Me and Ashwini (Ponnappa) won the bronze at the World Championship, which is equivalent to an Olympic medal. We are top 18 in the world right now and within top 20, anybody can beat anybody, it depends on the mentality of the player on that day," she added.