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Asian Games 2018: Ankita Raina and Rohan Bopanna-Divij Sharan pair assure two tennis medals for India

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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5.51K   //    23 Aug 2018, 00:54 IST

Aegon Classic Birmingham - Qualifying Day 1
Ankita Raina

The Indian contingent was assured of at least two medals from tennis after Ankita Raina and the pair of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan made it to the semi-finals of women’s singles and men’s doubles respectively at the Asian Games 2018 in Indonesia on Wednesday. India won four matches from a total of seven on the schedule, making it an overall good day for Indian tennis.

However, the biggest disappointment of the day was the Round of 16 loss of Ramkumar Ramanathan, who crashed out in three sets to 20-year-old Uzbek Karimov Jurabek, who is placed at a lowly 428th in the ATP World Tour rankings.

Raina, the last Indian standing in women’s singles, got better and better as her quarter-final clash with World No. 612 Eudice Wong Chong progressed. Having eked out a tight opener, the India No. 1 completely outplayed the Hong Kong player to register a 6-4, 6-1 win.

Raina was later involved in two doubles matches and she had mixed fortunes in those. She and Bopanna carved out a 6-4, 6-4 win over Hong Kong’s Chong and Chun Hun Wong to enter the quarter-finals.

The Ahmedabad girl, however, could not taste success in women’s doubles, where she and Prarthana Thombare went down 1-6, 3-6 to the Kazakh combine of Gozal Ainitdinova and Anna Danilina in pre-quarter-finals. With their loss, the Indian contention came to an end in women’s doubles.

Bopanna and Sharan did not have it all easy and were very much tested by the Taipei pair of Chengpeng Hsieh and Tsung-Hua Yang. The Taioei duo even snatched the second set before the top seeded Indian made a strong comeback to win the quarter-final with a score of 6-3, 5-7, 10-1.

The other Indian men’s doubles pair, comprising Ramanathan and Sumit Nagal, lost their quarter-final 7-5, 4-6, 2-10 to the Kazakh pair of Aleksandr Bublik and Denis Yevseyev.

Ramanathan had double whammy after losing his singles encounter 6-3, 4-6, 3-6 to Jurabek. Considering the fact that he reached the final of an ATP tournament just a few weeks back, a medal was expected from him.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran brought the smiles back for the Indian fans after Ramanathan’s loss. He dropped the second set but was able to grab a thrilling 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win over Vietnam’s Ly Hoang Nam en route to the last-eight.

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FEATURED COLUMNIST
A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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