Bopanna-Sharan pair lands men’s doubles gold

Bopanna Sharan
Rohan Bopanna (left) and Divij Sharan after receiving their gold medals for the men’s doubles tennis event | AFP

PALEMBANG, August 24: Top seeds Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan notched up their maiden men’s doubles gold medal at the Asian Games, dominating the final clash with a thoroughly clinical performance here on Friday.
Bopanna and Sharan defeated Aleksander Bublik and Denis Yevseyev of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-4 in 52 minutes.
Less than 20 minutes into the match, the Indians were 4-1 ahead, breaking Bublik and Yevseyev at the very first opportunity they got.
In no time, the top seeds were serving for the set with a 5-3 lead and Bopanna’s booming serve wrapped it up in style for them.
The Kazakhs had their moments but were undone by erratic play — a brilliant cross-court backhand winner one moment and a powerless return buried in the nets the very next minute.
In contrast, Bopanna and Sharan’s easy camaraderie shone through in the match and they displayed near-perfect on-court coordination. Bopanna was particularly formidable from the baseline, displaying a good range of strokes to pull off some tough winners, helped by his brute power.
The second set went slightly better for Bublik and Yevseyev but they just could not rein in the unforced errors, including a double fault in the fifth game which could have cost them. (PTI)