In a league of her own

From the sidelines

In a league of her own

Rallies, racquets and roars — it was a mix of all this and more at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium that witnessed an exciting match between ‘Bengaluru Blasters’ and ‘Hyderabad Hunters’ on Saturday.

And though There were some big names out there, N Sikki Reddy managed to grab her share of the spotlight by joining with Sung Hyun Ko to defeat Carolina Marin and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy in a game that cemented her place as one of the names to watch out for in the coming years. On the sidelines of the event, the 23-year-old spoke to Rajitha Menon about life on the court and her plans ahead.

When did you start becoming interested in badminton?

I used to play all kinds of sports because my father was really interested in sports. Once I joined a summer camp and won a tournament there. The coaches said I had talent and I should come for classes regularly. And that's how all this started.

On the experience of playing with some of the biggest names in the field?

It has been great. We are glad to have quite a few experienced players in our team and they have helped us a lot during practice sessions — with wrist movements , racquet positioning and so on. We have learnt a lot from them.

About the new format...

The 11-points game is a very tricky one; you can't relax even for one minute during the game.

Who is your inspiration?

My inspiration is my family; I am here because of them. And my coaches of course.

What more needs to be done to promote this sport.

This event itself is a huge promotion for badminton and tournaments like these will encourage more and more players to pick up this sport. Also, more events like this where Indian players get to rub shoulders with top international players should be encouraged. So I wish such leagues keep happening-maybe even twice a year! (Laughs)

Were you nervous while playing against Carolina?

Yes, definitely. Also, it was a team event so the pressure was felt by  everyone, not just me. But you just need to have confidence and inspire your teammates; then anyone can do this.

What's your advice to the hopefuls?

Just play a sport; not for name or fame but for your own health. Your concentration power increases and you can do well in your studies too. So don't let go of sports for anything.

Future plans?

Right now I am playing mixed doubles and women's doubles. My next target is the
Commonwealth Games and hopefully I will get a medal there for both these two formats.

Three things about you people don't know.

I get angry a lot on court; I can be annoying and I can irritate people a lot; and then... yeah, when I am depressed I eat a lot.

What are your other hobbies?

I go out for movies but mostly I just sit at home and relax. That's the one thing we usually don't get to do in this field.

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