Tanisha Crasto had been shuttling between Dubai and India for almost two years trying to find her footing in the Indian badminton circuit. She had her fair share of success in both singles and paired events and that only added to the overall confusion over the future course of action.

That was the case until a chance to shift base and train at the Gopichand Academy presented itself but only if she was willing to give up on singles and only concentrate on the paired events. It was probably her performance in the Junior Nationals in December last year that made the coaches take notice of her prowess in the paired events and despite her success in singles, Tanisha has decided to take the plunge and specialise in doubles events.

“For me, this call was quite difficult. It’s not that I wanted to do something in doubles because I started off as singles players. But after seeing my performance, the academy that they will focus on my doubles training and not singles,” said the 16-year-old, who has been picked in the Indian team for the Asian Junior badminton championship to be held in Suzhou, China, from July 20-28.

Though Tanisha mostly concentrated on singles while representing Goa in the Under-15 and Under-17 categories, she always managed to come up with impressive performances in the paired events and thinks it was probably to do with her training regime back home in Dubai.

“In Dubai, I was mostly playing a lot of mixed and doubles with senior men. I always enjoy playing doubles and that was much more than singles. I think that one factor really helps me perform well,” said Tanisha, who was supposed to join the academy in January but joining only in May due to her standard 10th exams.

Since shifting base to the Gopichand Academy, Tanisha has won a title and finished runners-up in women’s doubles in two u-19 national ranking tournaments with Aditi Bhatt and even reached the semi-final of the All India senior ranking meet in Hyderabad in mixed doubles with Ishaan Bhatnagar.

Tanisha admits that one of the reason behind the coaches making her shift to doubles was her lack of strength while playing singles. But she has made peace with that now and has even made changes to her equipment to focus on the doubles events. “I have shifted to Kalkul racquet from Adidas to give me more control with my strokes as I want to focus on doubles events and that has worked well so far for me. Now the aim for this year is to start performing well in the international tournaments,” she added.

Though Tanisha had represented India in the world juniors last year, she was still finding her way on the national and international circuit then. The Asian Junior later this month will be her first real test after becoming a doubles specialist.