Indian duo of Bopanna and Bhambri face early exit in Asian Games Men’s Doubles
Indian tennis stars Rohan Bopanna and Yuki Bhambri, fresh from their Davis Cup victory, saw their Asian Games journey cut short as they were defeated in the men’s doubles second round by Uzbekistan’s Sergey Fomin and Khumoyun Sultanov.
Just days after contributing to India’s triumph in the Davis Cup World Group II playoff against Morocco in Lucknow, tennis stars Rohan Bopanna and Yuki Bhambri experienced an early exit from the Asian Games men’s doubles competition. They were defeated in the second round by the Uzbekistan pairing of Sergey Fomin and Khumoyun Sultanov.
The match took place at the Centre Court within the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre Tennis Centre. Bopanna and Bhambri, who received a bye in the first round, faced a challenging contest and ultimately succumbed to a 6-2, 3-6, 6-10 defeat against Fomin and Sultanov.
While Rohan Bopanna, who recently reached the finals of the US Open men’s doubles, is ranked seventh in the world in doubles, and Yuki Bhambri holds the 65th ranking, their Uzbek opponents, Fomin and Sultanov, are ranked significantly lower at 349th and 494th, respectively. On paper, the Indian duo was favored to advance further in the competition.
However, the Uzbekistan pair displayed exceptional resilience and managed to outperform their Indian counterparts. Bopanna and Bhambri encountered challenges with their serves, contributing to six double faults compared to none by the Uzbekistan team.
The Indian pair achieved a 65% serve success rate, whereas their opponents achieved a higher rate of 75%. Despite initially breaking their opponents’ serve in the opening game, leading 2-0, the Uzbekistan duo quickly retaliated to level the score at 2-2. Nevertheless, Bopanna and Bhambri regained control and secured the next four games, ultimately winning the first set 6-2.
In the second set, the Uzbekistan pair broke their opponents’ serve in the fourth game, establishing a 3-1 lead. Although the Indian duo swiftly recovered, tying the score at 3-3, their opponents went on to win the next three games, clinching the set 6-3 and forcing a match tie-breaker.
During the match tie-breaker, the Uzbekistan pair surged ahead with a 3-0 lead, which they extended to 6-2, ultimately triumphing with a score of 10-6, stunning their more experienced Indian counterparts.
Rohan Bopanna, who is partnering with Rutuja Bhosale in the mixed doubles competition at the Asian Games, is scheduled to compete against Uzbekistan’s Akgul Amanmuradova and Maksim Shin in a second-round match later in the day.