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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Other Sport

As a senior I needed to support Prajakta
Sharmistha Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times
April 19, 2013
First Published: 00:26 IST(19/4/2013)
Last Updated: 00:29 IST(19/4/2013)

She lets her racquet do the talking. Aggressive on court, ready to fight against injustice and discrimination, she was recently seen in a dance number in a Telugu film. That’s Jwala Gutta for you. Set to play with Prajakta Sawant for the first time at the India Open next week, she speaks her mind.

Playing with a new partner, what are the expectations?
I don’t have a problem playing with anyone. Prajakta (20) is young and talented. We were supposed to play the All England together but it didn’t work out. This season, the aim is to work on her physical strength. Her capacity is far greater than any other junior I have seen. I’m just expecting to go out there, give our best and get good results.

You play a Japanese pair in the opener... 
I never see the draws! Names don’t matter to me.

What led you to partner Prajakta who is involved in a legal battle with chief coach Pullela Gopichand?
There was a time when V Diju was not allowed to play with me. I didn’t go to court; I answered everyone through my racquet. The fact is that discrimination exists. I wanted to support Prajakta as a senior. You can’t isolate a player. Even if one is fighting a court case against the association or coach, why are the other players scared to play with her? It’s obviously they have been pressurised not to. The coach should encourage a youngster, keeping politics aside.

After India Open you play...
The Indian Badminton League in June.


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