Pre-Olympic discuss tennis in India has at all times been about controversies. Before the 2012 London version, there had been a row over participant mixture in males’s doubles and combined doubles, with Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza in the combination.
Both Bhupathi and Paes wished to mix with Bopanna however ultimately, the previous succeeded. Paes needed to play with Vishnu Vardhan. Both pairs misplaced in the spherical of 16. Paes partnered Sania in the combined doubles as a part of the general resolution. The pair misplaced in the quarterfinals.
For the 2016 Olympics, Bopanna, who received a direct entry based mostly on his rating, wished to accomplice Saketh Myneni in males’s doubles as an alternative of Paes however the All India Tennis Association (AITA) prevailed over them and received the 2 seniors to type a workforce. They misplaced in the primary spherical.
Sania and Bopanna misplaced in the bronze-medal playoff in combined doubles, lacking a medal by a whisker.
With simply three days to go for the beginning of the Tokyo Olympics, verbal volleys are flying thick and quick over a reported transfer by the All India Tennis Association (AITA) to get Bopanna concerned in doubles with Sumit Nagal, who made the lower late due to giant scale withdrawals.
The AITA then tried to alter the unique doubles mixture of Bopanna and Divij Sharan, who have been named fifth alternates (standbys) as a result of their mixed rating was not adequate to get a direct entry, and tried to push in Nagal as alternative for Sharan.
The transfer was rebuffed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Bopanna accused AITA of deceptive the gamers and the nation over the opportunity of him pairing with Nagal. Sania supported him, claiming a possibility was misplaced as she might have paired with Bopanna.
To lower the lengthy story quick, they’re nonetheless squabbling over the interpretation of ITF guidelines.
The backside line is that at Tokyo Olympics, India will take part solely in males’s singles and girls’s doubles. Nagal, the 2015 Wimbledon boys’ doubles winner, will probably be taking court docket in singles whereas Sania, who had a protected rating following her prolonged break for baby beginning, will accomplice Ankita Raina in ladies’s doubles.
Nagal, who got here into the limelight when he took a set off Roger Federer in the 2019 US Open first-round encounter, has accomplished effectively in the final couple of years. He received his first first Grand Slam predominant draw match on the US Open in 2020. His rating has been going up and down as he struggles on the circuit, hoping to interrupt into the highest 100.
Sania and Ankita have performed as a workforce solely as soon as, in the Billie Jean King Cup, and haven’t performed collectively on the circuit.
Sania is India’s greatest feminine tennis participant by a protracted distance having received three grand slam titles every in ladies’s doubles and combined doubles.
In the just lately concluded Wimbledon championships, the 34-year-old from Hyderabad reached the second spherical in ladies’s doubles partnering Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States, and third spherical in combined doubles partnering Bopanna.
Sania has a protected rating of 9, whereas Ankita is ninety fifth in the world. They have had a camp on the Sania Mirza Tennis Foundation in Hyderabad earlier than the workforce left for Tokyo.
The Sania-Ankita pair is India’s greatest guess in Tokyo. Time will inform whether or not they can convert expectations right into a medal.
Nagal, who as soon as took a set off Roger Federer on the US Open, will probably be taking discipline in the opening spherical on July 24.