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Rising shuttler Aditi Bhatt seeking ranking boost

What was noteworthy was her spirited effort against an established star in the form of Busanan Ongbamrungphan, who was World No 13 at the time.

Published: 20th December 2021 12:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th December 2021 12:36 AM   |  A+A-

With two wins during the group stages, she helped a new-look India team reach the quarterfinals. (Photo | Shiba Sahu/EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The last few months have been enlightening for Aditi Bhatt, a gifted shuttler who's looking to establish herself at the top. After making her senior debut for India during the Sudirman Cup, she went on to show glimpses of her potential during the Uber Cup.

With two wins during the group stages, she helped a new-look India team reach the quarterfinals. What was noteworthy was her spirited effort against an established star in the form of Busanan Ongbamrungphan, who was World No 13 at the time.

After conceding the first game, she pocketed the second game before losing the third and the match. Needless to say, that was a massive lift for the youngster who trains at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru.

"My first match Chen Yufei (Olympic champ, Sudirman Cup), I was very nervous because that was my first international tournament. I felt that many people were going to watch me on TV. It was nervy but I had nothing to lose and the overall output was good," Aditi, who is currently taking part in the BAI series senior meet in Chennai, recalls.

Locking horns with proven stars right from the orientation phase has naturally added to her developing mind.

"Getting into the senior team was always a dream. But I never thought it would come very soon. It was unbelievable that I got into the team. It was a good boost for me as I'm trying to make a mark at the senior level. Playing against some senior players was a big confidence-booster for me," the 18-year-old notes.

Having gotten a glimpse of the level of competitiveness at the top, she is nonchalant about the ongoing meet, a platform she feels will just add to her confidence.

After breezing into Round 3 on Sunday, she is just intent on gaining as much exposure as possible and improve her world rankings.

"I'm trying to improve my world ranking by playing more tournaments, gain confidence and improve. These tournaments also give me confidence," Aditi, who's World No 425, says.

A positive show on the court has naturally raised the expectation levels. Aditi is well aware of the same, but she's just focussed on self-improvement.

"I felt the pressure (Sudirman & Uber Cup). Sometimes it's overwhelming as people are continuously sending messages saying 'big fan, we want to see you do well.' But I don't think that affects me much on the court. All I think about is improving my game," Aditi, who has multiple backers (TOPS Scheme, Khelo India and Reliance Foundation), says.

Originally from Ghaziabad, she was destined to pick up the sport as her family comes from a sporting background.

Her father was into football and has played the Santosh Trophy while her brother has also played some level of football.

After getting the push from her PT teacher in school, Aditi shifted to Uttarakhand in 2014 to train under DK Sen before joining PPBA four years later. She believes she is good at rallies and is keen on polishing her finishing skills.

"I feel my retrieving power is good. I can play as many rallies as possible. I need to work on my finishing. At the higher level, I feel that is vital. I just want to improve on that aspect."



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