Ashwini Ponnappa, who led India to the knockout stages of the Sudirman Cup last week, said that her target remains the Commonwealth Games, scheduled to take place next year.
In an interview to PTI, Ponnappa said that she was confident that their side would do well as soon as they found out the draw. “Ever since we came to know about the draw, I was confident we were good enough to beat them. Most of the players in the opposition team had top 5 players and when I knew I will have to play two matches, I had the belief that we could do well,” she said.
“Me and Satwik (Satwiksairaj Rankireddy) were training together just a few weeks ahead of the event as we had sent our entry for the Australian Open. So when we got a chance to play at the Sudirman Cup, we were excited as it was our first tournament together.”
The 27-year-old asserted that it was her coaches who decided her partners in various competitions and that she is looking forward to a new one. “Coaches have been the ones who have been deciding my partners after the Olympics and it is about trusting them. Me and Sumeeth had a good partnership. We are both similar players, we have played women’s doubles and men’s doubles respectively and now we are venturing into mixed doubles,” Ashwini said.
“So I am looking forward to the new partnership. Interestingly, I will be playing with Sumeeth at Indonesia and Satwik at Australia, so let’s see how it goes. After playing at the Sudirman Cup, I feel we can achieve much better results together,” she added.
Ponnappa said that winning a medal at the Commonwealth Games will be an important target. She said, “We are looking forward to the next tournament, doing better than what we have done. If we can reach a final of super series this year, that will be good and definitely winning a medal at the Commonwealth Games will be one of the important targets.”
The shuttler also said that she is enjoying the extra responsibility as a senior member.