Ashwini Ponnappa: ‘Tom, Yusuf improved my net play’

Indian women’s doubles shuttler Ashwini Ponnappa on Wednesday said former coaches Tom John and Indonesian Yusuf Jauhari believed in her capability and played a major role in improving her net play.

Ashwini also credited Malaysian doubles coach Kim Tan Her for improving her game.   -  AP

Indian women’s doubles shuttler Ashwini Ponnappa on Wednesday said former coaches Tom John and Indonesian Yusuf Jauhari believed in her capability and played a major role in improving her net play.

“There are two coaches who have influenced me a lot to improve my net play over the years. Initially it was Tom sir and then Yusuf sir played huge roles in this regard. The best thing about them was they believed in my capability as a net player,” she said.

The 27-year-old from Bengaluru, who won a gold and silver at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games respectively beside clinching a bronze at the 2011 World Championship along with Jwala Gutta, had a good outing at the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold.

Ashwini, who decided to split with Jwala and pair up with Sikki Reddy in women’s doubles, reached the final at the Lucknow event and also stunned World No. 4 Denmark pair of Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen in the semifinal of mixed doubles event with partner B. Sumeeth Reddy.

Ashwini also credited Malaysian doubles coach Kim Tan Her for improving her game.

“Of course, Tan has played a huge role, but there are other coaches who have also played their roles. In fact, a lot of people have a role in developing a player,” she said.

Ashwini said a lot of junior players are going to benefit from Tan because he has the experience and his training is doubles specific.

“A lot of junior players are definitely going to benefit a lot from Tan. He has got the experience and his training is doubles’ specific,” she added.

Talking about Sikki Reddy, Ashwini said both of them were still trying to figure out their style of playing.

“We are still in the process of figuring out, for we have played just four tournaments so far, and playing with left-handed player like Sikki is a different experience. We are still figuring out whether to rotate a lot or play at the nets vice versa,” she said.

“We have a good understanding at the court and it is only going to get better in the future,” she added.

Talking about her encounter against Carolina Marin in the singles match in thePremier Badminton League, Ashwini said: “She could have been stumped as she did not expect I would give a good fight to her.”

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