Tag Archives: Rohan Bopanna

Olympics Tennis Fiasco – Who is at fault?

Considering this happened prior to the Olympics. It wasn’t a surprise that India did not even get close to getting a medal in Tennis.

My Thoughts

Recently the AITA (All India Tennis Association) announced the Indian Tennis teams for the upcoming London Olympics 2012. The overall announcement turned into a farce which ended up in the association having to redo the combinations. Tennis is one of the few sports where India has a strong chance of obtaining a medal in the Olympics. The strong Indian contingent comprises of fantastic doubles players such as Leander, Mahesh, Sania and Rohan Bopanna.

Everyone knows that Leander and Mahesh split once again for the 100th time last year and do not like to play with each other. It was pretty strange when AITA paired Leander with Mahesh for the London Olympics. But when the announcement came in there was a series of ugly spats in the media. Mahesh came in and refused to play with Leander and threatened to pull out. Leander for his part did the same thing. Rohan…

View original post 469 more words

Olympics Tennis Fiasco – Who is at fault?

Recently the AITA (All India Tennis Association) announced the Indian Tennis teams for the upcoming London Olympics 2012. The overall announcement turned into a farce which ended up in the association having to redo the combinations. Tennis is one of the few sports where India has a strong chance of obtaining a medal in the Olympics. The strong Indian contingent comprises of fantastic doubles players such as Leander, Mahesh, Sania and Rohan Bopanna.

Everyone knows that Leander and Mahesh split once again for the 100th time last year and do not like to play with each other. It was pretty strange when AITA paired Leander with Mahesh for the London Olympics. But when the announcement came in there was a series of ugly spats in the media. Mahesh came in and refused to play with Leander and threatened to pull out. Leander for his part did the same thing. Rohan Bopanna too refused to partner Leander as he has had a successful time partnering Mahesh in the grand-slams this year.

This was really sad when you consider that this was an Indian team which has been announced. Tennis as a sport is mostly individual except for certain events such as Olympics, Davis Cup etc…So it does not require the players to get along with each other like how it is with other team sports. The players and the AITA are both at fault here. AITA should have known about the situation and probably should have discussed the situation before announcing it to the media. The players too even though being unhappy should have spoken with the AITA first before expressing their displeasure openly to the media. It was ugly when Sania Mirza and Leander’s father too got involved in this circus.

I can’t believe that a person who is not even a member of AITA or has never played any tennis can come in public and request for a written assurance from a tennis player to partner his son. I feel sorry for the young Vishnu Vardhan who got stuck in this crossfire. He would have been honored to represent India at the highest stage and to be paired with a Legend in the Olympics only to find that Leander refused to partner with him unless Sania partnered with him for mixed doubles.

This seemed like a round of ugly politics and players egos coming to the fore. Leander and Mahesh are legends of Indian tennis but it seems like their egos are bigger than their achievements. We thank them for all the great things they have done for the Indian tennis but this situation could have been handled better. Threatening to pull out of a premier event for any reason when your country’s pride is at stake is an extremely selfish act. I understand that the mistake was from both the sides but a discussion behind the scenes would have been a much better option.

The young players look up to these legends for inspiration and this is not something they would like to see. I am just happy that the issue has been finally resolved and it seems like the players are happy with whom they have been paired with. Leander has finally agreed to pair with Vishnu and Mahesh with Bopanna. Sania Mirza will be paired with Leander and she said that she is honored to do so. Somdev and Sania will be playing singles after getting wild cards to represent India in the Olympics. After all this tamasha, it does look like India has some decent chance of multiple medals this year. I hope that the players put behind their differences and perform to the fullest in the event to bring glory to the country.

Tennis – A perfect reunion and brilliant Roger

Leander and Mahesh won their 24th tour title and their 5th at Chennai this weekend

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi won the Chennai open for the fifth time as it marked a perfect reunion for the two great Indians. The pair prevailed over the young pair of Robin Haase and David Martin in a tense 3 setter. This was their 24th title together and something which all the Indian tennis fans have been waiting for. The Chennai open started disastrously for the Indian contingent as Somdev, Bopanna and Yuki all wild card entrants had lost in the first round in the singles. But the doubles title was really a sweet end to the tournament for the Chennai crowd.

The great news is that Leander and Mahesh or Lee-Hesh as they are lovingly called by their fans have decided to play in the Australian open together in an attempt to win their 4th Grand Slam title together. It was yet another special win for the Indian pair and I hope they get few more before the end of the year. Congrats to Leander and Mahesh for an excellent victory.

Elsewhere it was business as usual for the Champion Roger Federer as he defeated Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets to capture his 67th tour title at Doha this weekend. This was an ideal preparation for the champion for his defense of the Australian open later this month. Roger finished 2010 in style when he defeated Nadal in the London Masters final and has began the year 2011 brilliantly by capturing the Doha title. Robin Soderling was another winner this weekend at Brisbane, Australia as he defeated American Andy Roddick to claim his 7th tour title. This is a brilliant beginning for the Swede who ended the year 2010 at number 5 in the rankings. The win has enabled him to reach his career high ranking of No.4 again. He will try to put up a great show in the upcoming Australian open where he was ousted in the first round last year.

Rohan Bopanna and Qureshi – Playing for peace

Indo-Pak Express:- Rohan Bopanna (India) and Asim Ul Haq Qureshi of Pakistan

It has been a great week for the Indo-Pak duo of Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (Known as Indo-Pak express by their fans) as they have been conferred with the “Peace and Sport” award by a Monaco based foundation. With both their countries at the loggerheads for the past 60+ years the duo has proven that there can be in fact peace. It’s not like these two have suddenly gotten together and received this prize but have been together for the past few years and their sudden raise in the rankings have finally got them some attention.

Both these players should be really proud of this achievement as this has proved that sports can be devoid of politics and can surely extend a hand of friendship. It will be great if others can follow the example of this Indo-Pak duo and shed all their differences and work for a peaceful existence. Kudos to the Indo-Pak express for setting up a brilliant example for others to follow.

Finally I would like to sign off with the quote of the “Peace and Sports” founder Joel Bouzou “”Sport is ready for peace. But will governments rise to this challenge?” he asks, a question to both the governments. Something for the governments to think about.

Leander and Mahesh in the London finals, Bopanna misses out

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have made it to the season ending World Tour doubles Finals with their respective partners. Rohan Bopanna though misses out on a chance to complete with the world’s best doubles teams as he and Qureshi failed to qualify for the mega event. Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy have been placed in Group A and Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi have been placed in group B.

Leander and Dlouhy have to contend with the top seeded Bryan brothers in their group whereas Mahesh and Mirnyi have the second seeded Nestor/Zimonjic pair. It is brilliant to see both these players participating in the London Finals and I hope that both of them do well. It will be great if one of them wins the title this year. This is probably one title which is missing from the resume of these two greats. Best of luck to both Bhupathi and Paes and hopefully we will see one of them emerge victorious at the end of it.

Indian tennis scene healthier than ever

Just few years back, India tennis was all about Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi. They held the hopes of an entire nation for a long time until Sania Mirza arrived on the scene. She was probably the first tennis icon for the current generation to look up to. Sania broke into the top 30 and gave us the hopes that probably this time we will see a Indian player in the top 10. In the last couple of years though her carrier has taken a nose dive and she is nowhere near her best anymore. Her ranking over this time has had a free fall from the top 30 to 166 where she is currently perched.

While Leander and Mahesh still battle on, we have new players on the scene giving some hope to the tennis fans in India. Somdev Devvarman is one of them. He became the first Indian player to win an individual gold in Tennis for India in Commonwealth games and also broke into top 100 this year. Then there is the young Yuki Bhambri who has just started to wet his foot in the professional world. While Somdev Devvarman takes over from Leander as India’s flag bearer in the Davis Cup, Yuki Bhambri has the making of being the first top tennis player from India.

Even though the singles scene is still uncertain with how the careers of both Somdev and Yuki will pan out, the doubles though has been healthier as ever. Leander and Mahesh have always been in the top 10 pairs in the world with their respective partners, the sudden raise of Rohan Bopanna should give the Indians additional hope. His partnership with Qureshi from Pakistan has grown leaps and bounds this year. They are in fact in contention for the Masters event later this year in which the top 8 doubles team participates every year. With Leander already qualified for the masters event, the battle will be between Bhupathi and Bopanna for the 7th and 8th spot. It will be wonderful if both of them can make it.

If that happens I guess this will be the first time when 3 Indian players will be participating in the year end Masters event. The rise of Bopanna and Qureshi has been amazing as the pair made giant strides in the last couple of years to reach the top 10 in the rankings. Amidst the animosity between the two countries, it’s great to see a Indo-Pak pair do so well as a team in world tennis. If only the others can learn something from this pair and understand that in spite of all the differences we can still work together for a peaceful existence.

So with just couple of months to go the battle is on. Bhupathi/Mirnyi pair has now climbed up to the 6th spot, strengthening their hopes of qualifying for the Masters. It will be up to Bopanna and Qureshi to raise their game to grab one of the final two spots. It has been a great year for Indian tennis and it seems like once Leander and Mahesh hang up their boots, Indian fans will still have something to look forward to in Tennis.

Davis Cup – India in the World Group after 11 years

Somdev guides India to the World Group after 11 years

Somdev guides India to the World Group after 11 years

India’s brilliant young Davis cup team reached the World group after 11 years where they will play Russia next year. It was a fantastic achievement considering India played with a young team this year that lacks experience playing in the Davis Cup. Somdev, Yuki and Rohan Bopanna are youngsters who haven’t played too much for India.

Leander and Mahesh have carried India’s hopes for so long and it’s heartening to see these youngsters coming through. Somdev reaching the second round of the US Open was a brilliant achievement and Yuki winning the Australian open juniors was special too. Rohan Bopanna has been playing pretty decent tennis too over the past year. This augurs well for India for the years to come. Somdev, Bopanna and Yuki helped India to a convincing 4-1 victory over South Africa away from home which is always special.

Playing for your country is special and these youngsters have done us proud. Yuki is just 17 years old and is number 1 junior player in the world. I hope that he matures into a very good player for India in the future. Given a chance to debut in the final dead rubber of the Davis cup tie against the SA he managed to beat Izak Van Der Merve to make the score line 4-1 in India’s favor. But the toast of the tournament for India was Somdev, who won both his singles tie to hand victory to India.

After his brilliant run in the Chennai open last year Somdev has been a revelation and continues to move up the rankings. I hope that this starts a golden run for India in tennis and we see a top 10 player during our lifetime. I wish all success to the Indian Davis cup team and hope that we defeat Russia in the World Group tie next year.