Treesa Jolly & Gayatri Gopichand: Punching above their weight
The duo is flying the Indian flag high and mighty on the international stage through their performances.
At a time when high-profile badminton players of India are struggling for form, Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand are giving Indian fans reasons to be happy. For the last couple of years, the duo has been making waves in international badminton with their performances, cementing their place as rising stars in the sport and inspiring scores of women in the country.
Their recent impressive run in the 2023 edition of the All England Open Championships is a testament to their rising stature in the international badminton scene. The Indian duo’s success has been particularly noteworthy as they have been competing against players with a higher rank.
As the pair continues to punch above its weight, their story of resilience and determination is gaining traction back home. The pair has quickly become one of the dark horses for a medal in the upcoming Pairs 2024 Olympic Games.
All England Open Championships
The 2022-23 edition of the All England Open Championships was disappointing as a whole for the Indian contingent. None of the players in the singles category, men or women, were able to navigate past the second round. In contrast, Lakshya Sen reached the final in 2021-22 but lost in the second round this time.
Over in Men’s Doubles, the Indian pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty (sixth seeds) also lost their second-round tie to bow out of the tournament. Hopes were high for the pair due to their recent performances which saw them win gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and bronze at the 2022 World Championships.
The one positive outcome from the All England Open, the oldest and one of the most prestigious badminton tournaments, for India was the semi-final appearance of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand. The pair began the campaign with a straight-game win over seventh seeds and higher-ranked opponents Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai of Thailand. Later in the quarter-finals, their win over the Chinese pair of Li Wen Mei and Liu Xuan Xuan by 21-14, 18-21, and 21-12 took them into the semis. It was not a flash in the pan but a second successive semi-final appearance at the tournament.
Not a fluke
In the previous edition of the All England Open, the pair did not qualify for the main draw and was part of the reserves. Reaching the final four in 2022 was a massive deal but a surprise nonetheless. However, their second successive semi-final run suggests that Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand are a force to reckon with.
They have quickly become a major hope for a medal in the Women’s Doubles category in events like the World Championships, Asian Games, Olympics, etc. It will be interesting to observe their progress in other BWF events later in 2023.
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It is important to remember that the rise of the pair is due to countless hours of training and honing their skills to become top-class players. The world of badminton will acknowledge Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand as serious contenders. They are World No.17 for the moment but aim to rise in rankings.
Treesa Jolly comes from humble beginnings in Cherupuzha in Kerala while Gayatri Gopichand is the daughter of legendary badminton player Pullela Gopichand. Despite their contrasting background, the pair plays with a sensational synergy. Their success serves as an inspiration to other women across India who are looking to break into sports and excel at the highest level.
India has seen iconic women badminton players such as Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu, Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponappa and more. Two more players will now become household names across the country. Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand are symbolic of a new generation of talented young women who will bring lots of success to the country.
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