The 18-year-old recently put up an impressive showing at the Thomas and Uber Cup.

One of the most asked questions for Indian women’s badminton is who comes next after PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal. In recent times, a couple of youngsters have been able to show their mettle in a couple of international tournaments.

Among a few of India’s badminton prospects, Aditi Bhatt has shown to have the potential to follow the steps of Saina and Sindhu. Her very recent performance at the Thomas and Uber Cup 2021 has helped the shuttler come under the limelight in the eyes of the badminton fraternity. 

International Tournaments

Hailing from Ghaziabad, 18-year-old Aditi Bhatt has trained at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy under coach DK Sen. She has represented the country at various international tournaments. Moreover, she participates in both women’s singles as well as doubles categories. 

Aditi made her international debut in 2017 at the Asia U-17 and U-15 Championships. Later, she reached the round of 16 at the 2018 BWF World Junior Championships in women’s doubles along with her partner, Tanisha Crasto. However, she finished third at the 2018 Asia U-17 and U-15 Championships in the women’s singles category. She also reached the quarterfinals in women’s doubles along with Tanisha Crasto at the same event. 

Aditi Bhatt participated in a couple of tournaments in 2019 and her best performance was finishing third at the Dubai International Series in both singles and doubles. She also managed to reach the quarterfinals of the Bulgarian Junior International Championships and Singapore Youth International Series. However, in the women’s doubles category, she won her first international tournament at the Bulgarian Junior International Championships after beating their Turkish opponents in a thrilling three-set match. By the end of 2020, she became No. 10 in the World Junior rankings. 

Recent rise and performance 

Though Aditi Bhatt has not won any significant tournaments till now, her recent performances show a lot of promise for Indian badminton. At the very recent Thomas and Uber Cup, the youngster took everyone by shock with her performance. She won two out of the four matches at the tournament. 

She began her campaign with a win over Ania Setien of Spain, beating her in straight sets 21-16, 21-14. Later, she beat Rachel Sugden of Scotland again in straight sets 21-14, 21-8. Her next match against world No. 13, Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand, was a testament to her future capabilities — although she did not win the match. She fought hard but eventually lost 16-21,21-18,15-21 to her Thai opponent. However, she gave hope to Indian badminton in the process displaying intensive grit and determination. 

How does her future look? 

Coming from a middle-class background, Aditi Bhatt, along with her family have seen and dealt with many challenges in their journey so far. While her father is a banker, her mother is a homemaker. In 2019, she received the opportunity to sign up for Reliance Foundation Elite Scholarship program — which has supported and encouraged her in many ways. 

After testing positive for COVID-19 in 2020, she also had a couple of injuries which threatened her career for a short time. However, her diligence and never-give-up attitude helped her to rediscover her usual form on the court. 

In an interview, her coach, Sagar Chopda shared a few insights into her gameplay. According to him, Aditi is a bold and confident player with great technical skills. However, she needs to work on her speed and agility for better performance. According to him, if she is able to do that, she has the potential to reach the top world rankings. 

Now into the senior circuit, a couple of tournaments would give her the experience and confidence to win laurels for the country. Aditi Bhatt, who is a big fan of Tai Tzu Ying wishes and aims to win an Olympic medal for the country. 

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