Ashwini Ponnappa and Tanisha Crasto have been in sensational form. They played two finals in as many weeks. While they made a runner-up finish at the Syed Modi India International, a BWF Super 300 World Tour event, last week, they amended their performance in the summit clash by winning the Guwahati Masters Super 100 the following week.
The Indian pair defeated Chinese Taipei’s Sung Shuo Yun and Yu Chien Hui 21-13, 21-19 in the final.
Now, on the back of these blazing performances, Ashwini, 34, and Tanisha, 20, jumped four places on the BWF World Rankings to be ranked 24th.
Ashwini, a BWF World Championships bronze medallist, paired up with Tanisha in January this year. They have had a great year since then, winning three titles, including the Abu Dhabi Masters, Nantes International Challenge and Guwahati Masters.
As they soared in the world rankings, Ashwini set their eyes on qualifying for the Paris Olympics.
“The goal of course is to play at the Olympics but since we are a new pair, our focus is to do well in every single tournament we are playing, to put up a good show and that is what we are focusing on right now,” Ashwini, a two-time Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, told PTI.
“I think there are a lot of factors to get to the Olympics, and for us it is important to simplify our journey and focus on our performance, and if we are meant to be in the Olympics, then it’s fine.”
Ashwini and Tanisha are now India’s second-best-ranked women’s doubles pair after Gayatri Gopichand and Treesha Jolly, who are ranked 19th in the world.
The rise in ranking will help Ashwini and Tanisha chase bigger glory, as they will be entitled to play on the World Tour more frequently, resulting in more points in the Road to Paris rankings.
“Now, we will get an entry into bigger tournaments. We actually started off the year playing in a Super 500 event (Indonesia Masters) where we reached the quarterfinals, which gave us a lot of confidence because it was our first tournament together,” said Ashwini.
“Now, having had this journey of playing smaller tournaments and gradually working our way up, it gives us a lot of confidence. We have a lot of matches under our belt. So, now, the idea is to take all this positivity into next year but before that our focus is giving our best in Odisha,” she added.
Now, Ashwini and Tanisha will start as favourites this week at the Odisha Open Super 100 in Cuttack