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Jessica Pugh: I have a lot of good talks with Gabby
Date: 6/8/2020 1:58 PM
Published by : BEC staff

As we learnt when speaking with England’s mixed doubles player, Jessica Pugh, it can be a weird feeling changing partners for the first time. Especially as she had been playing with Ben Lane since she was 10. However, this new challenge has been accepted. 


Pugh, 23, now plays with Callum Hemming and has revealed that at the moment, their main focus is this one event. 


- At the start of the year, our coaches decided for some players to focus on one event so that we can train one hundred per cent on one partnership and every session is around that event, to improve faster. I do love playing women’s doubles, so who knows what the future may hold in that area! I would love to play it again.


Pugh adds a comment on what is it that sets mixed doubles apart from other categories by stating. 


I love the high speed of the game and being able to take chances going forwards as I like being around the net. 


Read: Jessica Pugh: It feels very weird


She always lets me pick her brains


Mixed doubles is England’s strongest category at the moment, with pairs Ellis/ Smith and the Adcocks at nine and thirteen in the world respectively. This puts them in good stead leading into the Tokyo Olympics. Subsequently, the young pair of Hemming/ Pugh are looking ahead towards Paris 2024. 


- I am definitely someone who is trying to live in the moment and enjoy the journey I’m on and right now that focus is Paris 2024 in the mixed doubles.


As part of these two top English pairs, Gabby Adcock and Lauren Smith have been the standout English female doubles players. Asked if she is ready to be the next one, Pugh responds. 


- Yes, definitely. I believe they are both currently the best mixed doubles women in Europe, so to be able to train with them every day is definitely improving my game and helping me get to where I want to be. I have a lot of good talks with Gabby, she has been through it all and experienced a lot. She had a similar situation with a partnership change when she was young like I am going through. She always lets me pick her brains and that really helps me stay focused. 


Lastly, Pugh knows too well that there is a long road ahead for her to reach these dreams, but she is willing to work hard for them. When thinking about what the key thing is she needs to gain in this time, Pugh says. 


- For me, I think I need to keep gaining more experience playing against the best players in the world regularly. This way I can understand and learn the game faster. 


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