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Expect five gold in tennis this time

The spectacular opening ceremony made us all feel proud. Honestly, it was not what we expected and we were all very nervous with all the negativity surrounding the Games. However, the show was amazing.

sports Updated: Oct 07, 2010 02:38 IST
Mahesh Bhupathi
Mahesh Bhupathi
Hindustan Times
tennis,commonwealth games,CWG

The spectacular opening ceremony made us all feel proud. Honestly, it was not what we expected and we were all very nervous with all the negativity surrounding the Games. However, the show was amazing. From an Indian perspective, I felt it was better than Beijing and a lot of the Aussie and English team members told me so.

It brought together, on a single platform, the diverse Indian culture and every foreign athlete I spoke with wanted to see that 'Train' go round the stadium one more time. Hopefully, Team India rides the wave and turns it into a Golden Games!

The standing ovation the Indian contingent got gave me goose bumps. Of course, the welcome the crowd gave to the Pakistan and Bangladesh contingents was testimony to the spirit here.

I have been to the Games Village and the atmosphere is terrific. The athletes are having a lot of fun. The rock concerts, the dining hall with food from all over and the recreation rooms have made many say that it is indeed excellent.

The Village is always the hub of activity and leaves everyone with a lot of memories and friends for years to come. I still believe, had we delivered the Village 3-4 months ago, we would have had a lot more stars here in Delhi.

Coming to tennis, it was a straightforward match against a young Sri Lankan team. We quickly got into our rhythm and won comfortably. It was important to get used to the speed of the court and find some rhythm, since quarterfinals onwards we will have our work cut out.

The RK Khanna tennis stadium looks great. I am sure the crowds will grow as we come closer to the medal rounds. We have been told the tennis venue has been sold out Friday onwards. Tennis is expected to deliver five gold.

The Indian contingent is hoping to go better than the fourth-place finish in Melbourne four years ago and, I think, we can do it. We have come a long way in the last two years. Shooting, wrestling and boxing have given belief to many Indians that they can win. TMC

First Published: Oct 06, 2010 23:37 IST