Ramkumar-Myneni pair one win away from men's doubles gold; Bopanna-Bhosale assured of bronze

08:12 AM Sep 29, 2023 | PTI |

Hangzhou:  The Indian tennis camp had something to cheer on Thursday with Ramkumar Ramanathan and Saketh Myneni reaching the men’s doubles gold medal round and the mixed doubles pair of Rohan Bopanna and Rutuja Bhosale assuring itself of a medal.


The second-seeded team of Ramkumar and Myneni downed the gutsy Korean pair of Seongchan Hong and Soonwoo Kwon 6-1 6-7(8) 10-0 to move to the title clash.

Myneni will now gun for his second Asian Games gold, having won a mixed doubles yellow metal with Sania Mirza in the 2014 edition.

It will be a maiden Games medal for Ramkumar.

The Koreans fought back after losing the opening set in a rather sedate manner but Myneni and Ramkumar held their nerves to outplay their rivals in the Super Tie break.


The Indian team will now take on Chinese Taipei, that ousted Thailand, in the gold medal match on Friday.

India had won the men’s doubles title in the last edition in Indonesia with Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan emerging victorious.

After the semi-final victory, it was Myneni, who spoke to the media as his partner Ramkumar decided to stay away from the boom. But the reason, interestingly, was superstition.

“He’s been superstitious from the beginning. So the first day, I spoke to one of the reporters, then after that he just wants to keep it the same way. So we try to keep the same pattern every day,” Myneni said.

On their animated on-court discussions between points and at the change of ends, Myneni said: “It’s not about tennis, I know that. I just like to make it fun.

“In sport, if you pressure yourself it rubs off on your partner. I want to make sure he’s also enjoying this sport as well as competing here. So that’s the major thing for me.”

Ramkumar is way more expressive with his body language and that’s how they complement each other.

“I’m not as vocal as he (Ramkumar) is. He’s more the vocal guy. He’s the one who’s dancing around the court and I’m just the one who’s leading him left and right. When we talk it’s like, ‘Just stay calm.’

“It’s not like, ‘OK, hit the ball here, hit the ball there.’ It’s just, ‘Hey, stay calm, (let’s) enjoy this.’ It’s not like tennis techniques or something,” Myneni said.

Another Asian Games medal for Bopanna

The second-seeded Bopanna-Bhosale pair moved to the mixed doubles semifinals with a fluent 7-5 6-3 win over Kazakhstan’s Zhibek Kulambayeva and Grigoriy Lomakin.

The first set seemed going into a tie-break as Kulambayeva was serving at 40-0 in the 12th game but she lost her serve from that strong position.

There was hardly any fight in the second set.

Bopanna, who is playing his last Asian Games at 43, will not go without a medal.

He has already been ousted from the men’s doubles with partner Yuki Bhambri.


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.