We`re not expecting a miracle, says Ashwini

New Delhi: With Commonwealth and Asian Games coming up next year, Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta might be joining hands once again but the celebrated women`s doubles pair is not expecting any miracles when they take the courts in Denmark Open Super Series Premier from October 15-20.

One half of the Commonwealth Games gold medallist pair, Ashwini said they would look to test themselves at the Denmark Open and are not thinking about their past record much.

"We have been successful in the past but we are not expecting miracles from ourself straight away. We want to take things calmly, as it comes," said Ashwini, who ended as runners-up with Arathi Sara Sunil in the 35th PSPB Inter Unit Badminton Tournament.

"Me and Jwala will be training for two weeks with (Mohammad) Arif sir and then start playing at the Denmark Open, French Open and Bitburger Open. For us the important thing right now is to get back on the court and start playing together," she added.
The world championship bronze medallist pair had separated after Jwala decided to take a sabbatical following the London Olympics last year. Since then, Ashwini has been playing with Pradnya Gadre.

But just before the Indian Badminton League, Ashwini and Jwala decided to get back together.

Talking about her game, Ashwini said: "I was not very good at the nets earlier but I have improved on that aspects and I`m comfortable going to the net, which has helped me in mixed doubles and doubles as well.

"Me and Tarun (Kona) are not the typical mixed doubles players. He is a good net player but now he is also trying to play at the back. We have been training for two weeks in Bangalore and hope to do well."

Meanwhile, runners-up in the men`s singles competition of the PSPB tournament, world number 43 Sourabh Varma says he is desperate to take a break to regain his strength.

"I have been playing constantly for sometime and could not get a break. It is difficult to retain your strength and focus if you keep playing. I am tired and completely drained," he said.

"But I still have to play in Denmark and French Open. I will talk to Gopi Sir and plan to take a break for sometime to regain my strength and get to the best shape for next year," said the 20-year-old, who had injured his little finger on the right hand yesterday and lost to K Srikanth in the finals of the PSPB tournament.

"I think it is better if we can play one tournament in a month and train rest of the time. It is all about the game at the end of the day. Ranking is not important," Varma added.

Aditi Mutatkar, who suffered many injuries in her career since the age of 17, is once again trying to chart her way up after being in the sidelines for almost one-and-a-half years where she had to deal with three injuries.

Playing only in her third tournament after making a comeback, Aditi, a silver medallist in Mixed Team Event during 2010 Commonwealth Games, lost in the first round against P C Thulasi in the PSPB tournament.

However, the 25-year-old from Gwalior, is hoping to break into top-100 and start playing Grand Prix events from next year.

"This is just my third tournament after making a comeback. I have worked hard on myself, did weight training to get to the best possible shape. This is my last chance and I will give my everything," said Aditi, who had a career-best ranking of 27 in the world.

"I had a knee injury and later it led to hamstring injury. My knee was operated and it took a lot of effort from me to start playing again.

"I`ll play in the national circuit this year and early next year before entering the International circuit. I want to get into top 100 next year and play in Grand Prix level events. This is my aim for now," she said.


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