Asian Games 2018: Divij Sharan and Karman Thandi make a good start for Indian tennis
The Indian tennis contingent made a winning start to their Asian Games 2018 medal quest after the mixed doubles pair of Divij Sharan and Karman Kaur Thandi won their Round of 32 match at the JSC Tennis Court in Palembang, Indonesia on Sunday. Sharan and Thandi had to overcome a few hiccups to defeat the unheralded Philippines team of Capadocia MJ and Lim AJ 6-4, 6-4. The Indian pair needed 1 hour 21 minutes to notch up the win.
The duo did not drop any of their service games. However, their break point conversion rate was poor as they had only 22% (2/9) success.
The Filipino pair was the more attacking one out of the two as they produced 20 winners, compared to just 10 from the Indians. However, the former undid their good work through their flurry of unforced errors. While the Indians kept it decent at 19, the Filipino combine made 33 unforced errors.
In the Round of 16, Sharan and Thandi will face the Kazakh pair of Anna Danilina and Aleksandr Nedovyesov.
Sharan and Thandi both have been in good form this year. Sharan has been India’s most in-form doubles player in 2018 and has made it to as many as seven semi-finals in ATP 250 events. The World No. 38 was also the best performing Indian at the Wimbledon Championships this year, where he reached the quarter-finals alongside Artem Sitak.
Thandi is more focussed on her singles career and is now at a career-high 197th in the world.
Ramanathan, Bopanna in action on Monday
Thandi and Sharan have teamed up for the first time after a last-minute pull-out by Leander Paes. Ankita Raina and Rohan Bopanna are the other Indian mixed doubles pair and they will start their challenge on Monday.
Also in action on Day 2 of the 2018 Asiad will be India’s singles stars, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Prajnesh Gunneswaran. Both have had a good year and have climbed up the rankings chart. Ramanathan reached a final on the ATP World Tour just a few weeks back and will try to bring that confidence into the Asian Games.
In the women’s singles section, Thandi and Raina will both begin their respective campaigns. Bopanna and Sharan, who are the top seeds in men’s doubles, too will be vying for a place in the pre-quarter-finals.