Mumbai: Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy have been India’s premier women’s doubles pair in badminton in recent years.
While the Commonwealth Games, where the duo won bronze and where it was relatively a new experience for Sikki Reddy, the duo hoped that women’s doubles was the way forward in a sport like badminton.
The duo were speaking on behalf of the National Finals of the Red Bull Shuttle Up event, a tournament exclusively for women’s doubles matches.
“It is a very good event. When Ashwini told me, I was very happy to come here. We don’t have a league like this for women especially. Doing something for the growth of women’s doubles is most important for us because we don’t even have a women’s league in India,” said the 25-year-old Sikki Reddy while speaking during an exclusive interaction with Deccan Chronicle.
“I hope all the juniors take up women’s doubles and have at least six to eight players in the next generation playing for the world and being in the world’s 20 or top 30,” she added.
Ashwini, a Red Bull athlete, revealed that her parents supported her throughout her badminton career. Her father, in fact, has also played hockey and she spoke more on the same.
“I never chose badminton. My parents put me into badminton. There had to be a badminton court right next to the place where my dad worked. So, My mom used to drop me and dad used to pick me up during those days,” said the 29-year-old shuttler from Karnataka.
Sikki Reddy, who hails from Hyderabad, also said that playing alongside Ashwini in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia was a dream come true.
“It was a great experience. Obviously, Commonwealth Games is my dream, but I could not get selected in the last eight years. Really glad and lucky to have partnered with Ashwini. We won a historic team gold also,” the young shuttler added.
Sikki, meanwhile, also stressed on the importance of understanding and co-ordination when it comes to doubles events.
“Understanding is very much important. You both try not to clash and take one shuttle at a time. You have to be very quick and fast to respond in doubles. Especially if you are playing leftie-rightie you need to have more understanding,” continued Sikki.