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Jwala Gutta set for return to mixed doubles

New Delhi, PTI | Updated : 31 March 2016, 11:47 AM

One of the most experienced doubles shuttlers of India, Jwala Gutta, who restricted herself to playing only in women’s doubles till now, has decided to make a comeback in the mixed category.

Jwala, who achieved many laurels for the country when she used to play mixed doubles with V Diju, said she will start playing mixed doubles once again after the Uber Cup in May.

“In New Zealand Open, I watched Ashwini (Ponnappa) play mixed doubles and I really started missing it suddenly. I am missing the titles I used to win with V Diju. Now I don’t see any titles in mixed doubles. I have decided to start playing mixed doubles after Thomas and Uber Cup,” Jwala told PTI.

“I will discuss it with my coach Tim Her and select the partner. I haven’t decided on that yet. But I will start playing mixed doubles for sure after April,” she added.

Jwala and Diju, who reached as high as World No. 7, is the first Indian mixed doubles pair to win a Grand Prix Gold title at Chinese Taipei. They also won the Bitburger Open Championship in Germany.

The two had reached the World Super Series Masters final at Johor Bahru in December 2009, besides winning the silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Jwala and Diju also represented India at the London Olympics.

Ever since Jwala left playing mixed doubles after the 2012 Olympics, no other Indian pair has been able to reach within top 25.

The Hyderabadi said she has been working on her fitness for the last few months but now her focus will be to peak ahead of the Rio Olympics in August.

“In the last 3-4 months ever since new Malaysian coach joined, my priority was to get fitter and I worked really hard. The focus was on myself. I was also taking breaks, skipping tournaments to focus on fitness and it helped me mentally and physically. I am moving much better and on court I feel confident. Now I will look to test myself next month.

“I will have to focus on skills and match performance. I am more focused on tournaments. I was not happy with our performance in the last few months but I was happy how we played at ABC in February,” said Jwala.

First Published: Thursday, March 31, 2016 11:44 AM
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