Hyderabad: Ashwini Ponnappa is set for a new innings in the women’s doubles with Sikki Reddy after a highly successful six-year run with Jwala Gutta. The 27-year-old doubles expert says she has a lot of good memories with Jwala and expects a good run with Sikki.
“There were a lot of good memories playing with Jwala. I always cherish them. We won a couple of big tournaments like Commonwealth Games gold, World Championships bronze, qualifying to the Olympics and Asian Championship bronze medal. Certainly, pairing with Jwala was the turning point of my career.. “I learnt a lot from Jwala. She was a very experienced player and we had a wonderful time playing together, ’’ she said.
On changing her doubles partner, Ashwini said: “We thought I should move on and it was time for a change’’ On her new partner, Ashwini said Sikki is good. “We played a couple of international tournaments. It was a good experience. We play a few more in the new year. It is all about jellying together as a good doubles player.’’
She further added that Jwala and Sikki are different both in game wise and in personality. “The only thing is that both are left-handers. I can execute from the back of the court and Sikki in the front.’’
Ashwini, who is one of the hardest smashers of the game in the women’s doubles, felt that 2016 has been quite a hectic year. “We had qualified for the Olympics. I felt sick a long period of time. Both me and Jwala could play in the Rio Olympics and that was one of the biggest achievements.’’
The doubles players said 2017 will be a big year. “I want to make it happen. Right now, physically and mentally I should be ready for 2017.’’
Ashwini revealed that she has not fixed any mixed doubles partner. “I’m trying out new partners and in the next few tournaments I will be playing with Tilak Reddy in Malaysia and Lucknow Grand Prix tournaments.’’