India's rising badminton girl Kuhu Garg is all set to launch international competition by participating in the Swiss Open Badminton Championships which gets underway from Wednesday at Basel (Switzerland). After an easy first round against qualifiers, Kuhu Garg and her partner Dhruv Kapilla will be up against the fifth-seeded pair of Lu Kaiand Chen Lu of China.

Two-time winner Saina Nehwal and defending champion Sameer Verma is spearheading India’s campaign at the Swiss Open.

“Yes, we have an easy draw in the opener. But then such is the level of competition that we are scheduled to take on the fifth seeds. But then when one competes at the international level one should be prepared to play tough opponents in the initial rounds itself,” said Kuhu Garg.

If Kuhu and Kapilla manage to upset the fifth seeds, then they will have a real tough fight on their hands when they cross swords with the fifth-seeded pair of Mathias Kristianssen and Christina Pedersson. “They (the Danish pair) are one of the best in the badminton business. It will be simply great to play against them,” said an upbeat Kuhu.

Speaking about her new partner Dhruv Kapilla, Kuhu said that it was the first season that she was partnering with Kapilla. “He’s a good player and even though it’s the first time I am partnering with him in a competition, I feel we can do well. It's after all an on-court bonhomie which is so important in doubles,” she said. 

Apart from the Swiss Open, she will be playing a couple of more international level tournaments. “These are the Orleans International in France the next week and thereafter the India Open Super Series tournament in New Delhi. So I have a very exciting and taxing three weeks coming up. I want to do well in all these tournaments especially the one In India. I have worked very hard and hope to see good results in all these tournaments,” she said.

The rise of Kuhu Garg as a doubles expert has been an interesting one. The 20-year-old petite shuttler from Dehradun has been in good form hogging the limelight with a series of consistent performances both at the national and international level. Among her major victories at the international level, she has won the Greece Open, besides being a runner up at the Russian Open. More recently, Kuhu was a runner up at the mixed doubles event at the senior nationals in Guwahati.

Currently ranked 37th In the mixed doubles in the world, Kuhu had a very interesting pairing with Rohan Kapoor.

What makes Kuhu work hard in order to up the bar is her unmitigated passion for the game. Right from the age of 8, she had a penchant for the badminton courts. For her father, Ashok Kumar was a good badminton player and used to take her to the badminton courts. That is how her love for the game developed and she came to play the game and thereafter becoming a champion.


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