Jakarta , Aug 24 (UNI) Top seed Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan overpowered Aleksandr Bublik and Denis Yevseyev of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-4 to win the gold and regain the Men’s doubles tennis title at the 18th Asian Games in Palembang on Friday.
India has now won gold in the men’s doubles event 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 Bopanna first medal at the Asian Games, Sharan had won bronze in the same event with Yuki Bhambri in the last edition in Incheon.
Indian pair dominated the contest from the very start giving no quarters to gtheir rivals and wrapped the final in 52 minuretes.
Indians broke their rivals earlier and took the 4-1 lead in the and then made it 5-3 before Bopaana with his fiery serve sealed the set to give India 1-0 lead.
The Kazakhs tried to put up a fight but they made several unforced errors which undone their good efforts. They were much faster and agile but the experienced Indians were able to foil their all attempt.
Indian on the other hand combined well .Bopanna was solid on the baseline while Sharan covered the court well.
In fact, Bopanna’s booming serves rattled the Kazhaks who found it tough to negotiate the Indian’s powerful serves.
However, the Kazakhs tried to regroup themselves in the second set and they held their serves till 3-3 but then they faltered and the Indians took the advantage to break them.
The winners then held on to their serves to make it 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 the booming serve but the Kazakhs had been deflated enough and a feeble return went into the nets to give India the first tennis gold of the ongoing event.
“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,” he said.
He was of the view that Kazakh pair put up a good fight “But we knew how to handle them.We played to a plan and regained the title.
(Article authored by Harpal Singh Bedi)