Wimbledon, Olympics unlikely to be heady potion
The test run began last year. The curators of the famed Wimbledon grass believe they have a trick up their sleeves to get the courts ready in time to host the 2012 Olympics, 20 days after the Grand Slam championship is over.sports Updated: Aug 04, 2011 01:16 IST
The test run began last year. The curators of the famed Wimbledon grass believe they have a trick up their sleeves to get the courts ready in time to host the 2012 Olympics, 20 days after the Grand Slam championship is over.
But germinating medal chances will be a bigger struggle for India.Responsibility will be pinned on old war-horses Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi again. That they have combined well in advance will work to their advantage, but bigger serves and faster legs await them on Wimbledon grass. Their recent record doesn't provide encouragement either. They were ousted in the second round of the Grand Slam this year, and neither has got past the quarterfinals in the last three editions.
Rohan Bopanna has emerged as a genuine contender, and if he is able to stay in the top-10, India could sneak another team in men's doubles.
Tennis is also one of the few sports where an Olympic medal is not the ultimate prize. With players tailoring their schedules according to the four Grand Slams, it will put extra pressure on the singles players to get ready in time for the quadrennial event.
Weaned on hard courts, the new crop of Indian tennis is uncomfortable on grass. More than being in contention for the medals, Sania Mirza and Somdev Devvarman, as of now, are on the borderline to actually qualify for the singles draw.
With the rankings cut-off set at 56 in singles, they will have to at least maintain, if not better their current ranks of 64 and 65.
While Wimbledon meeting the Olympics makes a heady prospect, Indian tennis doesn't look high on grass.