Bopanna-Sharan win gold

Kirti Patil
Saturday, 25 August 2018

Rohan Bopanna made his decision to travel to Palembang for the Asian Games count as won the men’s doubles gold medal in company of preferred compatriot Divij Sharan

Jakarta: Rohan Bopanna made his decision to travel to Palembang for the Asian Games count as won the men’s doubles gold medal in company of preferred compatriot Divij Sharan, on Friday.

Bopanna had made a calculated gamble by missing the year’s final Grand Slam, the US Open, while top seeded Indian, Yuki Bhambri, decided to honour his professional commitments.

Playing against Kazakh pair of Aleksandr Bublik and Denis Yevseyev, the Indians won 6-3, 6-4 and regained the Men’s doubles tennis title they lost in 2014 Incheon Games.

India has now won gold in the men’s doubles at four of the last five Asian Games. Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes won in 2002 and 2006 and Somdev Devvarman and Sanam Singh won in 2010. In 2014, Saketh Myneni and Sanam had ended with a silver medal.

While this is first medal for Bopanna at the Asian Games, Sharan had won bronze in the same event with Yuki Bhambri in Incheon.

Rohan and Divij dominated the contest from the very start giving no quarters to their rivals and wrapped the final in 52 minutes.

Indians broke their Kazakhs early on and then raced to 4-1 lead and then to 5-3 before Bopaana sealed the set with his fiery serve to give India 1-0 lead.

The Kazakhs tried to put up a fight but they made several unforced errors to lose points at crucial moments. Though Kazakh pair was much faster and agile, the experienced Indians foiled their all attempts.

“It is a great feeling to win the Gold in Asian Games said Bopaana and added, “we are happy that we have regained the title after a gap of four years .We combined well and complimented each other and that was the  main reason for our success,” said Bopanna.

In fact Bopanna’s booming serves rattled the Kazhak pair, who found it tough to negotiate the Indians’ powerful serves and their efforts to regroup  in the second set failed as Rohan and Divij found the gaps and broke them to lead 5-3.

The Kazakhs held on in the next game but it only delayed the inevitable. Serving for the match at 40-0, Bopanna didn’t really come up with a booming serve but the Kazakhs had been deflated enough and a feeble return went into the nets to give India the first tennis gold in Indonesia.

Later in the day, Prajnesh Guneswaran lost to Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 26 minutes and settled for the bronze medal-with that India’s tennis campaign in Asiad ended with one gold and two bronze medals.

Bopanna’s serves
Bopanna’s booming serves rattled the Kazhak pair, who found it tough to negotiate the Indians’ powerful serves and their efforts to regroup  in the second set failed as Rohan and Divij found the gaps and broke them to lead 5-3.

The Kazakhs tried to put up a fight but they made several unforced errors to lose points at crucial moments. Though Kazakh pair was much faster and agile, the experienced Indians foiled their all attempts.

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