Ashwini faces reversal of roles

She played second fiddle to senior partner Jwala Gutta during their successful combination, but shuttler Ashwini Ponnappa now has a role reversal to enact in her fledgling women’s doubles partnership with the inexperienced Pradnya Gadre.

“Jwala is a very confident player, a very good player at the net. She was the dominant player and the guiding force in our partnership. Pradnya too is a fine player at the net but she is inexperienced. Its my duty to take the initiative and guide her,” said the 23-year-old Ashwini.

The doubles specialist from Bangalore was here to conduct a clinic at the Jamnabai Narsee School in Vile Parle in connection with the ‘Shuttle Experess’ initiative of the upcoming Indian Badminton League (IBL).

Ashwini said her immediate focus is to improve her rankings in both women’s doubles and mixed doubles, where she teams up with Tarun Kona.

“My partnership with Tarun and Pradnya is growing and we are getting better with every event. With the World Championship coming up, our aim is to improve our rankings,” she said.

Asked about the scheduled IBL, which is to kick off on August 14 after the player auctions this week in Delhi, Ashwini said: “So far so good. I am waiting for it to start and wish it all the success.”

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