After Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, another girl, Ruthvika Shivani Gadde from the Pullela Gopichand stable is making mark in Badminton. Ruthvika Shivani Gadde. Nineteen-year-old Ruthvika Shivani Gadde, is the newly crowned champion at the Russian Grand Prix in Vladivostok this past Sunday.
The teenager took up badminton as a seven-year old, getting interested after watching her father play with his friends. Over the next six years, the interest turned into commitment. According to Sudhakar Reddy, who was Gadde’s initial coach during her training in Khammam, Telangana, she sharpened her repertoire of mix-and-match shots to bait and confuse her opponents.
One of the others things she did was to play doubles with boys. While their physicality made Gadde work harder, her techniques refined her game, making her stand out.
Beating Russian Evgeniya Kosetskaya 21-10, 21-13 in the finals on Sunday, 4th seed Ruthvika picked her first international seniors title of the third rung event.
She had beaten Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu at the South Asian Games finals in what was a sensational result for the 19-year-old, though it was at this summer’s Uber Cup where she won a crucial third singles match against Thai No 3 Nitchaon Jindapol that she first displayed her ability to withstand pressure. “The Sindhu win gave me a lot of confidence, but the Russia title is important because now I’m slowly learning how to win from those tricky 15-all situations which were earlier challenging,” she says.
Uber Cup live rubber had meant she belonged at this level. “It’s a different experience to play at the international level. And you only get confidence when you win pressure matches,” she said, adding that the usual transition pangs from junior to senior have been overcome. “This gives me confidence to be on international circuit,” she adds.