Hyderabad (PTI): Together they won three mixed doubles titles last year but Jwala Gutta and V Diju say they don’t have the “expertise” of a doubles player and called for the appointment of a specialised coach.
Jwala and Diju, who won three international tournaments — Bulgaria Open Grand Prix , Bitburger Open Grand Prix, Nepal International Series — last year, feel its their mutual co-ordination and practice that works in their favour.
“Me and Diju also don’t have the expertise of a doubles player, it’s just that we have a very good co-ordination and we understand each other so well that we are doing well. We have practiced a lot,” Jwala told PTI.
“India needs a specialised doubles coach, the sort of coach we have in singles. If India wants to do well in team events, it is very important to have a specialised coach who can teach the players the technicalities of the game, travel with the team and help the players analyse their and their opponents games,” Jwala said.
Diju also agreed that he coordinates well with Jwala. “Since Jwala is left-handed and I’m right-handed, it is proving to be quite advantageous for us. When the opponents smashes a shot towards her thinking to trap her with a difficult back hand, it turns out to a forehand and vice versa,” he said.
Jwala lamented that the doubles players are not given proper recognition and incentives and so not many players are taking to it.
“There are no incentives for the doubles players in India, there is no backing and recognition either. We need to back the doubles players, so that they can take up the game,” Jwala said.
Diju and Jwala are world number 14 currently but Diju said he was not confident of his own performance when he started playing last year after losing precious time because of the Badminton Association of India’s hegemony.
“In the beginning of last year, When I started playing again with Jwala, I was not at all confident. It was only after we won some tough matches against tougher opponents and won the three titles I regained my confidence,” said Diju Diju and Jwala, will face the Chinese pair of Xiolong Liu and Jinhua Tang in the second round tomorrow, having got a bye in the first round.
The duo is is taking the Indian Open as a preparatory tournament for the World Championship and Diju feels they have a chance to win the all important tournament to be held here in August.
“I think we have a chance if we play well. Unlike singles, in doubles, within the top 20, any pair can beat the other pair, no matter what the ranking,” Diju said.
Asked about their schedule after the Indian Open, Diju said, “Currently we have just the Asian Badminton Championship and the Sudirman Cup. We haven’t thought after that.” And as for the ranking, Diju is hopeful of cracking the top-10 soon.
“By this year end, we will try to break into the top 10,” he said.