Setting aside the early setbacks in tennis for the Indian contingent at the 2023 Asian Games the pairing of Rutuja Bhosale and veteran Rohan Bopanna has assured a medal in the Mixed Doubles as they defeated the Kazakh pairing of Zhibek Kulambayeva and Grigoriy Lomakin to enter the semifinals.
They won the match pretty comfortably in straight sets 7-5, 6-3 to assure India’s second medal in tennis at the Asian Games. Before them, the men’s doubles pairing of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Saketh Myneni have also reached the semifinals and assured India’s first medal in tennis at the continental showdown.
Coming back to this game, the first set saw the Kazakh pair give a stern fight but Bopanna and Bhosale held their own and eventually won the set to stamp their authority early on in the match. However, they were forced to work very hard for each and every point. It was 5-5 at one stage and from their the Indian pair lifted their standards and snared a 7-5 win to take the initiative in the match.
The second set was much more straightforward as the Indian duo complimented each other in their brilliant plays and bagged the set 6-3 with relative ease.
Earlier in the event the Indian duo got the better of the Japanese pairing of Ayano Shimizu and Shinji Hazawa in straight sets in round three of the mixed doubles event.
The dominant Indian pair started as favourites in this match as well as they bagged the first set in only 30 minutes as they won 6-3. It was a similar story in the second set as the Indians claimed it with a score of 6-4 in only 29 minutes.
The Indian tennis stars have not had a great outing at the Asian Games as the singles players have returned empty-handed with Sumit Nagal and Ankita Raina both going down. Also, Bopanna and Yuki Bhambri, who were the top seeds in the men’s doubles event lost out in the first round of the event.
Yuki Bhambri, who partnered with Ankita Raina in the mixed doubles also lost out to Alex Eala and Casey Alcantara of the Philippines. So these results in men’s doubles and mixed doubles come as a relief for the Indian fans in what has been a far from successful Asian Games campaign for the Indian tennis contingent.