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Rohan Bopanna qualifies for Rio Olympics 2016

812   //    06 Jun 2016, 16:16 IST
Rohan Bopanna Florin Mergea
Bopanna and partner Florin Mergea (pictured) were part of the French Open last week

Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna has earned a berth to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this August on the back of his performance at the recently concluded French Open.

The doubles ace is in the top ten-ranked doubles players according to the latest rankings, released immediately after the French Open. The 36-year-old and partner Florin Mergea of Romania progressed to the quarterfinals of the Grand Slam last week, eventually losing to Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo, who themselves lost in the semi-finals to eventual champions Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez.

Bopanna’s ranking gives him a direct ticket to the Olympics, with two conditions; the partner he is to play doubles with must also be an internationally-ranked player, and both players will need an official nomination from their national governing body – here, that will be AITA, or the All-India Tennis Association.

It is not the first time Bopanna will be participating in the Olympic Games; he was selected to represent the country at the 2012 Olympics in London, at which time the Indian was involved in a serious issue with prospective partner Leander Paes, whom he refused to partner.

Mahesh Bhupathi would eventually partner Bopanna, with Paes partnering Vishnu Vardhan instead. The two exited the tournament in the second round.

17-time Grand Slam winner Paes is one of the frontrunners to partner Bopanna in Rio, and with Paes recently winning the mixed doubles title at the French Open will likely be AITA’s prime candidate.

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