Photo: Badminton Photo

Jille: The biggest change came personally

4/1/2020 9:47 AM | |  BEC Staff

At the European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships, the Netherlands achieved their first medal when winning the silver. In order to get to the final, they had to defeat a strong French team on home soil. Ruben Jille was a key cog in the Dutch machine. Jille speaks about developing his doubles partnerships. 

Previously, Jille played with Jacco Arends, wherein 2016, they were semifinalists at the Dutch Open and in 2017 he won his first international title at the Spanish International. Now in 2020, he is partnering the young Ties Van Der Lecq, Jille comments on how he feels the pair is fairing. 

- The new partnership has been going well so far. We had some ups and downs, but so far 2020 has been good. It's a little bit unsure what the future holds, especially now the Olympics have been moved to 2021, but I expect us to keep playing together.

Jille, like many doubles’ players, has had experience playing competitive mixed doubles. Just last year he was the runner-up at the Polish International with Alyssa Tirtosentono, and recently entered the Austrian Open with his sister, Debora Jille. Asked if he would be going back to mixed at some point, he responded.

- Mixed doubles is at the moment not the biggest priority. We are trying out different partnerships to see what fits best, so that after the Olympics we can start building on that as well.

Read: Ben Lane: My body couldn’t deal with it

To see him leave and suddenly live on my own

With things going well in the men’s doubles for Jille, being able to qualify for the big tournaments, he shares what are his next goals. 

- The short-term goals are simple actually, it's all about improving our game. For the long-term, we would like to be one of the best pairs in Europe and compete at the highest level of tournaments regularly first. If these goals are reached, we can look further.

Changing doubles partnerships is never easy, but Jille made it look like a seamless transition. Explaining his thoughts on playing with the younger players coming through, he says.

- The change of partner was tough in the beginning honestly. To suddenly be the one that had to take the lead and help my partner was different, but also good for me to develop as both player and person. I think so far Ties has also picked it up really well, so I’m proud to see that he is doing well!

The Netherlands in recent years has struggled with forming a collective group at the national training centre. All of the singles players are now training abroad, with the notable example of Mark Caljouw having his set-up in Denmark. Describing the impact of this on the day to day training for Jille, he states. 

- No more singles for us as doubles players. Overall, it didn’t change a lot in our training schedule as the singles and doubles groups were training separately anyway. For me, the biggest change came personally actually. I have been living together with Mark for almost five years, and to see him leave and suddenly live on my own was probably the biggest change it brought.

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