As a successful but physically draining year draws to a close, one half of Indian badminton’s most formidable mixed doubles pair Jwala Gutta is now aiming for a Super Series title in the new season to ensure a good build-up to the Commonwealth Games here.
Jwala, who along with V Diju won the Chinese Taipei Grand Prix Gold besides making the finals of Indian Open and the season-ending World Super Series finals, reckons 2010 would be hectic.
“2010 is going to be really busy and hectic and we have the Commonwealth Games also in India. We are excited and proud to represent our country but having said that, we don’t want to think so much ahead as it is still a long way to go. Also to perform well in the CWG we will have to concentrate on the other tournaments next year,” Ms. Jwala told PTI.
“So the focus will be on performance and raising the game with each match we play and in the process winning at least one or two Super Series tournaments,” she added.
Still recovering from a skin infection, Jwala said she had a tough time playing the World Super Series Masters Final in Malaysia due to the ailment and wants to take some time off from the court to regain her fitness for the next season.
“I had a really tough time playing in the World Super Series Masters Finals as I was not well. I was advised complete bed rest for 3-4 weeks but I still went to Malaysia. So, I was very weak,” said Ms. Jwala, who was forced to pull out midway in the first round of the China Super Series because of the ailment.
“During the first match we played (in Malaysia) I was shivering. But despite that we played well and reached the semifinal. I never expected ourselves to reach the semis and after that when we reached the finals, it was an amazing feeling. I am still not fit. I’m taking antibiotics. So I need to rest and then train for 3-4 weeks to regain my fitness,” she added.
Asked if the she and Diju have set any ranking targets for next season, Jwala said the aim would be to perform well and not bother about the rankings.
“I think me and Diju, Saina (Nehwal) and Chetan (Anand) have reached a stage where we should just focus on performance and not think about the ranking. But if you ask me where we want to see ourself, it has to be within the top 5 by the next year end. But it is going to be tough,” Ms. Jwala said.
Asked how she rates the year gone by, the 26-year-old Hyderabadi said it was certainly one of the best of her career.
“It was good year. Our hard work really paid off. We won a tournament and reached the finals of two and also made it to the quarters a couple of times. It was an amazing year and I can never forget how wonderful it has been. Yes, I know we could have won some tournaments, especially the last tournament but we don’t want to think about it as I know we will get another chance,” said Ms. Jwala, who along with Diju reached the quarter-finals of the World Badminton Championship in Hyderabad in August.
The duo had won the Bitburger Open and Bulgarian Open last year.