From Boston to Hyderabad again to US: Srivedya begins quest for Olympics | Jobs Punch

Born in Boston. Educated in India. Exhibiting the colours of India, however all the things modified for Srivedya Gurazada in October final yr, when she determined to maneuver to the USA.

When a 19-year-old Gurazada appeared on the 2022 India Open, he nonetheless had the Indian tricolor subsequent to his title. Gurazada teamed up with Ishika Jaiswal of the US, creating a singular badminton doubles mixture of two gamers from completely different nations. The truth is, Gurazada and Jaiswal have been the one such pairing in all doubles classes within the India Open within the earlier version. This yr, the variety of the identical quantity returned to zero as a result of Gurazada formally represented the USA.

The pair had a superb begin to the yr on the Malaysia Open – the primary Tremendous 750 event – the place they defeated a senior Spanish duo of Clara Azurmendi and Beatriz Corrales in three video games. In New Delhi, nonetheless, Gurazada and Jaiswal have been drawn with third-seeded pair Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee-yong of South Korea; the younger duo misplaced 9-21, 10-21. However at this stage of his profession, Gurazada is comfortable to tackle gamers from the upper ranks and collect lots of expertise.

Talked to Occasions of Hindustan in an unique chat in the course of the India Open, Gurazada opened up about why he moved, the challenges of enjoying badminton in the USA, and this yr’s targets:

How was the expertise of enjoying within the India Open this yr?

It’s totally good. That is the second time I’m enjoying within the India Open, however the final time once I was right here, there have been no followers. That is the primary time enjoying India Open with folks. The sensation is completely different. Though I performed (with followers) within the US, I used to be fortunate to play in entrance of the house crowd.

Inform us about your transfer to the USA. What prompted the choice?

This occurred round October 2022. I’m shifting as a result of I used to be born in Boston, which makes me a US citizen. And we moved to India once I was 3-4 years previous. I began enjoying badminton in India and I skilled at Chetan Anand academy. He requested me to play some tournaments in India, so I began enjoying right here. However the factor is, I can’t signify India within the Olympics. I do not maintain citizenship, so I made the change. It is going to assist me in Olympic qualification.

Once I performed for India, I used to be not in a position to observe with the Indian crew. There have been occasions after we practiced (with Indian gamers) in tournaments, however not a lot. The factor is, even once I play for India, I not often spar with the Indian crew.

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The change, particularly within the US, needs to be a giant change for you…

Once I moved to the US, it wasn’t the identical. Though I’m an impartial participant in India, I’ve gamers sparring with us typically. Once I moved to the US… the requirements of gamers in India have been unreal. Whenever you examine them, you’re feeling a distinction. We tried to observe within the academy in India, he (Jaiswal) went to the academy and we skilled right here. However once more, there’s a distinction between sparring with native gamers and with nationwide gamers. That is the place we see the large hole.

Are you pondering of making use of for a citizenship in India?

“No. I wish to come again to the US in some unspecified time in the future in my life. There’s additionally politics, you may’t see it on the floor however it’s within the system. There’s additionally politics within the US, it’s in all places, however right here, as a result of there are extra folks, you may see it.

Badminton is much less well-liked within the US than in India. How onerous is it to adapt?

I observe and keep in India even once I play for the US. I additionally performed a number of tournaments on the Pan-American circuit. Within the US, we do not have a crew. After we journey, we discover ourselves enjoying with particular person sponsorships. They cowl all our bills. We’ve got an affiliation however we do not have a crew, so it’s kind of tough for us to spar with different gamers as a result of there are solely two or three of us.

So, I believe that may be a flaw within the system. Like India, we now have 10,000 gamers preventing. We do not have that quantity within the US.

Your associate Ishika Jaiswal has been enjoying for the US for the reason that starting of her profession, however you partnered together with her even whilst you have been representing India. How did you two begin enjoying?

I performed within the junior nationals in 2019. He additionally performed. We performed towards one another and he gained towards me and my associate. Then, Covid occurred. In 2021, he contacted me asking if I’d play with him in tournaments and attempt to work issues out. I already performed within the tournaments he proposed and that is how we began enjoying. Within the few tournaments I did not play with him, I performed with Poorvisha (S. Ram). He gave me a heads up for that.

You went to the second spherical of the Malaysia Open final week. Your double rating is at present 34. What are your targets this yr?

I’d say that the goal for the time being is to enter the top-20. Play higher, do higher, and get to the top-20. Beat some challengers by 100s possibly, and slowly attain the subsequent stage. We really feel there’s a hole as a result of we do not go collectively twice. He lives in US and I reside in India. There’s a hole, and there’s clearly a distinction in singles and doubles observe. However I really feel assured that we did properly.

Do you propose to maneuver to the US in some unspecified time in the future?

Perhaps. I see myself doing that. Perhaps not now, however in two or three years.

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Did you might have any interactions with the gamers from the Indian crew whenever you performed right here?

I didn’t have a lot interplay with their crew as a result of I used to be not a part of the crew throughout all of the occasions in India. I’m an impartial gamer. I talked to N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa after we performed in Indonesia. It’s actually helpful. One senior participant who helped me so much with publicity was Poorvisha S Ram (former world no.30). Once I performed in Cameroon and Bangalore with him, I discovered so much about the right way to act on the courtroom. He saved telling me the right way to flip a foul day into a superb day. We nonetheless keep up a correspondence and he has change into a assist system for me.

You additionally play singles. What do you discover most comfy?

I play doubles extra freely than singles however I like enjoying them each. So long as I can play singles, I’ll do this. I wish to play in huge tournaments however my rating would not enable me to take part in them for the time being. I play within the 100s and I hope to get into the 750 as properly. I plan to play within the challengers and the 200s as properly.

Who did you idolize rising up?

My idol is my coach, Chetan Anand. Ever since I began enjoying badminton, I’ve been enjoying below him. He stays calm and composed on the courtroom and that’s one thing to study from. As a result of it is vitally tough to not present emotion within the courtroom. Normally, as a feminine participant, I idolize Carolina (Marin). I like his aggressiveness and dedication to bounce again even on his dangerous days.

What’s subsequent for you after the India Open?

“We despatched one entry to the German Open. So, if we are able to take part within the event, it is going to be Germany after which, All England.

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