The inaugural edition of the first-ever- exclusive women’s doubles tournament in the country, Red Bull Shuttle Up kickstarts in October 2018. With the growing popularity of the sport be it viewership (5th most viewed) or participation (2nd most played), the tournament aims to further boost and improve participation and popularity amongst aspiring women players.
Red Bull Shuttle Up Qualifiers will be held across 5 cities - Delhi, Bangalore, Guwahati, Hyderabad and Mumbai. The winning pair gets an exciting opportunity to play against the best badminton doubles player in the country- Ashwini Ponnappa and her partner Satwiksairaj Rankireddy.
The qualifiers start in Delhi on 5th October followed by Bangalore (7th October), Guwahati (13th October), Hyderabad (14th October) and Mumbai (20th October). Open exclusively for women above the age of 16, all matches will be played on the knock out basis where all pairs will play a best of 3 sets with 11 points (rally points) instead of the traditional 21 points a set.
India’s ace women doubles shuttler and Red Bull athlete Ashwini Ponnappa said, “My dream is to create awareness and promote doubles badminton in the country. More job opportunities for doubles players, more exposure for tournaments, and prize money in par with singles will motivate youngsters to focus on doubles and take it up seriously,”
“Things have definitely changed over the years, today’s youngsters are definitely focusing and switching to doubles at a younger age. We now have specialist coaches just for doubles and that has helped improve the standards of play. There is a better understanding between partners and many youngsters are taking up doubles from an early age, which is a great sign,” she added.