Asian Games 2018: Rohan Bopanna, Divij Sharan clinch men’s doubles tennis gold, Prajnesh gets bronze
Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan, the top seeds in the men’s doubles event, cruised to a 6-3, 6-4 win in just 52 minutes in the final while Prajnesh Gunneswaran got bronze after losing his men’s singles semi-final to Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 2-6, 2-6.asian games 2018 Updated: Aug 24, 2018 17:52 IST
Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan clinched another medal for India at the Asian Games 2018 and the first one in tennis, winning the gold medal after beating the Kazakhstan pair of Aleksandr Bublik and Denis Yevseyev. (Day 6 of Asian Games 2018 LIVE)
Bopanna and Sharan, the top seeds in the men’s doubles event, cruised to a 6-3, 6-4 win in just 52 minutes.
Less than 20 minutes into the match, the Indians were 4-1 ahead, breaking Bublik and Yevseyev at the very first opportunity they got.
In no time, the top seeds were serving for the set with a 5-3 lead and Bopanna’s booming serve wrapped it up in style for them.
The Kazakhs had their moments but were undone by erratic play -- a brilliant cross-court backhand winner one moment and a powerless return buried in the nets the very next minute.
In contrast, Bopanna and Sharan’s easy camaraderie shone through in the match and they displayed near-perfect on-court coordination.
Bopanna was particularly formidable from the baseline, displaying a good range of strokes to pull off some tough winners, helped by his brute power.
The second set went slightly better for Bublik and Yevseyev but they just could not rein in the unforced errors, including a double fault in the fifth game which could have cost them.
The Kazakhs had the faster legs between the two pairs but the Indians had the experience to negate that.
At 3-3, Bopanna and Sharan clinched the all-important break to go up and though they were pushed a bit in the very next game, the top seeds held serve to grab a 5-3 lead.
The Kazakhs held on in the next game but it only delayed the inevitable.
India have enjoyed plenty of success in tennis over the years. In fact, they now have a men’s doubles medal in five consecutive Asian Games thanks to this victory.
Amazingly, this is Rohan Bopanna’s maiden Asian Games medal. Sharan has previously won a bronze in the same category in 2014 alongside Yuki Bhambri.
But luck ran out for Prajnesh Gunneswaran as he could only manage a bronze medal after losing his men’s singles semi-final to Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 2-6, 2-6.
(With PTI inputs)
First Published: Aug 24, 2018 11:56 IST