Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan clinched another medal for India at the Asian Games 2018. It was the 1st medal in tennis this year. They won the gold medal after beating the Kazakhstan pair of Aleksandr Bublik and Denis Yevseyev.
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. Leander Paes has won three Asian Games men’s doubles gold — once with Gaurav Natekar and twice with Mahesh Bhupathi. After that in the 2010 Asian Games, Somdev Devvarman and Sanam Singh won the men’s doubles gold in Guangzhou.
In just 52 minutes, Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan, the top seeds in the men’s doubles event, cruised to a 6-3, 6-4 win. Bopanna and Sharan had taken a 4-1 lead in the opening set with two breaks of serves under their command, in under 20 minutes,. Soon enough, Bopanna got the job done to wrap up the opening set. It was all about Rohan booming serves and Divij Sharan’s confident play at the net. Kazakhs did have their moments but were undone by erratic and inconsistent play. Rohan Bopanna who played mostly from the back of the court was formidable in his returns. He pulled off some tough winners helped by his sheer force.
The second set went slightly better for Bublik and Yevseyev but they just could not rein in the unforced errors. They made 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. 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. Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan eventually won the fifth gold medal for India in the mens’ double tennis in the Asian Games history.