Failing India’s chances for medals at the Tokyo Olympics, Rohan Bopana and Divi Sharan missed the men’s doubles cut, which also ruled out the country’s presence in the mixed team competition, its best chance of finishing on the podium. .
It was expected that with a low combined ranking of 113, the entry of Bopana (38) and the left hand of Sharan (75) would depend only on big draws.
“The ITF has confirmed that Bopana and Divi cannot be included as a team in the men’s doubles team. However, things could change until July 16 (if there are more draws),” an AITA source told PTI.
When he contacted the Secretary General of the American Tennis Association (AITA) Anil Dhupar, he said that he would be able to give a clear picture only when he has a complete list to participate in his hands.
Despite some withdrawals, the cut for 22 teams from 24 direct admissions was as high as in the mid-1960s, according to sources, but the final break cannot be confirmed. Even if there are more draws, it will be extremely difficult for India to have a men’s doubles team.
First, priority will be given to players ranked singles, then a combination of singles-doubles and then a combination of doubles-doubles rankings.
Since many top players are not part of the singles draw, lower-ranking players, who also compete in doubles, would not miss the chance to play two Olympic events. Each player can participate in two events.
According to the rules, only those players can be part of the mixed team event, which are already in one of the main draws (or singles doubles).
In the case of India, it was imperative that Bopana be in men’s doubles in order to be paired with Sanya Mirza, who will compete in her fourth Olympics with Ankita Raina in the women’s doubles competition.
Sania and Rohan were close to winning bronze in 2016, but lost the bronze playoffs to Czech Radek Stepanek and Lucie Gradetska in straight sets.
The limited number of tournament opportunities due to the blocking of COVID-19 and travel restrictions made it difficult for both Bopana and Sharan to improve their rankings. Bopana was ranked 38th at the beginning of the year, while Sharan’s ranking deteriorated only after starting at number 63.
India has never failed to face a men’s doubles team at the Olympics since young Leander Paes and Ramesh Krishnan competed at the 1992 Games in Barcelona.
In subsequent editions, Paes was mostly there with Mahesh Bhupathi. In 2016, Paes and Bopana competed and lost in the first round.