Tanisha Crasto, the 20-year-old doubles specialist, is optimistic about qualifying for the Paris Olympics after she and her women’s doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa became the first Indian pair in the discipline to play a final on the World Tour this year.
Tanisha and Ashwini made a runner-up finish at last week’s Syed Modi India International in Lucknow after losing a 77-minute final against Rin Iwanaga and Kie Nakanishi. It was also their first final on the World Tour since they paired up in January this year.
Due to their magnificent showing in Lucknow, the pair also broke into the top 30 of the BWF World Rankings.
Currently ranked 28th in the Race to Paris rankings, Tanisha said, “There’s a fairly good chance in qualifying in the women’s doubles more than the mixed doubles.”
She also plays mixed doubles with Dhruva Kapila, but the Dubai-born player believes she has a better chance of qualifying in women’s doubles rather than mixed doubles.
“We (Tanisha and Dhruv Kapila) have only started playing a tournament together and I think there are, there’s just like four-five months left for the Olympics qualification. So, practically, if you’d see, there’s a fairly decent chance of qualifying in the women’s doubles, and that is where my focus is,” she told Hindustan Times.
The Race to Paris ranking started on May 1, 2023, and it will come to a close on April 28, 2024.
This year, Tanisha and Ashwini, who played in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics partnering with Jwala Gutta, made a steady rise winning the Abu Dhabi Masters and Nantes International Challenge.
As they have now played their first final on the BWF World Tour final, Tanisha is also confident of building a ‘deadly’ partnership with experienced Ashwini.
“I think we are a great pair and, of course, have a potential to be ‘deadly’ because… it is very difficult to find combinations like this, where one is really good at the back and has immense power to hit, and I think the only thing that can complement a player like that is someone who can really catch the net well and finish it,” she stated.
“This partnership is actually built right this way. I find it very comfortable to play in the front. And she sees it from the back – that’s where her strength is. And that allows me to finish from the front. I think people will really look up to our pair because we have good partnership and it is very rare t find a duo where you have one really offensive player at the back, but also an offensive player in the front. A lot of pairs don’t really have that luxury,” added Tanisha.
Tanisha and Ashwini are currently in action at Guwahati Masters. They will wrap up their season at the Odisha Masters later this month.