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Jwala eyeing London berth with good run at India Open

New Delhi, April 24 - In her bid to book a ticket to the 2012 London Olympics, India's ace doubles shuttler Jwala Gutta is eyeing a good run at the Yonex Sunrise India Open that started here Tuesday.

In the women's doubles Jwala will be pairing with Ashwini Ponappa and in the mixed doubles she will team up with V.Diju at the Siri Fort Complex, where she has some fond memories.

It was at the same venue Jwala and Ashwini won the Commonwealth Games doubles gold medal in 2010. This time, Jwala and Ashwini have received a walkover in the first round after the seventh seeded pair of Lok Yan Poon and Ying Suet Tse from Hong Kong pulled out.

"I have fond memories of the venue. This is a crucial tournament for me and a good run here can guarantee me a berth," said Jwala.

"I never thought of the Olympic qualification and it is something which makes me feel very special. I always try to do something new and delighted that I'll achieve such a special feat. It feels great when people say that they are expecting a medal from me," she said.

Jwala, however, said that playing in front of the home crowd will not put pressure on her.

"There won't be any extra pressure on me while playing in front of home crowd. Even though we have performed well, there is no second line of doubles players in the country. More players should be encouraged to play doubles," she said.

Jwala admitted playing doubles at the international tournament is tough and competitive.

"Playing doubles at the international level is tough as there are minimum three-four top doubles pairs from other countries like China, Malaysia, Indonesia. It becomes difficult for us (Indian pairs) to progress," she said.

Jwala said doubles' players need to be mentally alert.

"We have not produced quality doubles players and playing doubles requires you to be mentally alert. Doubles is a different ballgame altogether," she said.

The Hyderabadi said experimentation is the key to success.

"We can't go with a set strategy and I'm always willing to make changes to my game. Experimentation is very important in a sport like badminton and it is not easy," she said.


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