It’s been a dream debut for Gayatri at this blue riband event of badminton and she has so far followed in the steps of her illustrious father and 2001 champion Gopichand.
Gayatri started as a singles player but a switch to doubles and her chance pairing with Treesa, who also trains at Gopi’s academy, is yielding dividends. The 19-year-old is now two steps away from replicating the feat of her father Gopichand, albeit in doubles.
And to think that the Gayatri-Treesa duo was not even sure of qualifying for the All England. They were getting ready for the German Open when they got a message that a few last-minute pullouts have ensured them of a spot in the All England draw.
“I did not think we will get an entry. It all happened in the last minute and we are very happy that we got an entry into the event,” Gayatri said told TOI from Birmingham.
A day before upsetting second seeds Lee So-Hee and Shin Seung-Chan of Korea, Gayatri-Treesa had shocked Olympic champions Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu of Indonesia.
Everyone wanted to know what will Tressa/Gayatri do if they didn’t win against the 2nd seeded 🇰🇷 pair today. Guess… https://t.co/r2xxWiGX9r
— BAI Media (@BAI_Media) 1647610129000
Gayatri’s mother and former national champion Lakshmi said the duo has exceeded their expectations. “We’re very happy with their performance. But we did not expect this,” Lakshmi said.
Looking back, it was the duo’s performance at the Lucknow Open and Odisha Open helped them make it to All England main draw. They won the Odisha Open and were runners-up at the Lucknow Open.
Gayatri and Treesa were optimistic of their chances in the semifinal against Zhang Shu Xian and Zheng Yu of China. “We don’t feel any pressure now. We want to win it for our country. There are so many Indian supporters here,” they said.