Jwala-Ashwini pair wins Canada Open; Ashwini says `big boost ahead of World Championship

Indian shuttlers Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa

Calgary (Canada), June 29: Indian shuttlers Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa won the Canada Open women’s doubles title after upstaging the top-seeded Dutch pair of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek in the summit clash here.

In a closely-contested opening game, Jwala and Ashwini broke away from the 19-19 and converted the lone game point opportunity to grab the initiative. The Indians dominated the second game and raced to a 5-0 lead before going from 10-6 to 15-6 up.

The third-seeded Indian pair triumphed 21-19 21-16 in the contest which lasted 35 minutes.

However, Muskens and Piek fought back to win nine points straight and tie the game at 15-15. But Jwala and Ashwini did not let the advantage slip and won 6 of the next 7 points to clinch the title.

This was Jwala and Ashwini’s first title since their reunion after the 2012 London Olympics.

Ecstatic after winning the Canada Open women’s doubles title with Jwala Gutta, Indian shuttler Ashwini Ponnappa said consistency has been the key to their success and this victory is a big boost ahead of the prestigious World Championship in August.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist pair of Ashwini and Jwala defeated the top-seeded Dutch pair of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek 21-19 21-16 to clinch the USD 50,000 Canada Open Grand Prix tournament last night.

Ashwini was quoted as saying: “It is a fantastic win. We have been playing well and have been consistent. Winning the tournament just before the world championship is a great boost. Naturally, the World Championship in August is the next target for us.”

India’s best doubles pair, Ashwini and Jwala, won as many as four bronze medals last year but a title win has eluded them and Ashwini said it was nice to annex a trophy after a long time.

Ashwini and Jwala had taken a break post the London Olympics and this is their first title since their reunion after the 2012 Games.

The duo trained separately for some time but now with the World Championship round the corner, they will once again start training together.

Jwala Gutta’s family expressed joy on the shuttler winning the 2015 Canada Open badminton title with Ashwini Ponnappa.

Kranti Gutta, the father of the 31-year-old badminton star, lauded her coach and the trainer for guiding her throughout the tournament.

He said: “I want to thank her coach, Arif Sir, and her trainer, Sarvanan Sir, for providing her the required physical training,” urging the Indian government to support the doubles format of the game.

Gutta’s mother Yelan Gutta echoing similar sentiments said that this victory is a very good sign for the upcoming Olympics qualification.

Indian shuttlers Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa won the Canada Open women’s doubles title after upstaging the top-seeded Dutch pair of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek in the summit clash.

(With Agency Inputs)

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