Palembang: Ankita Raina and men’s doubles top seeds of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan assured India of at least a couple of bronze medals in tennis by progressing to the semifinals at the Asian Games here Wednesday.
World No.189, Raina dispatched Hong Kong’s Eudice Chong 6-4, 6-1 to enter the last four of the women’s singles competition. In all the five events here, both losing semifinalists get a bronze.
Ankita was down 1-4 in the first set before bouncing back to close it in 54 minutes. She took only 27 minutes to claim the second set.
“Ankita is a fighter and has volunteered to play in all three events in this heat. She played well today,” India captain and coach Zeeshan Ali said.
Bopanna and Sharan played a solid match against the seasoned pairing of Yang Hsieh and Yang Tsung-Hua of Chinese Taipei. The Indians won 6-3, 5-7, 10-1.
Ramkumar Ramathan, second seed in the men’s singles, however suffered a shock 3-6, 6-4, 3-6 defeat against Jurabek Karimov of Uzbekistan.
“Tactically, Ram got it all wrong. The courts were on the slower side, all the more reason he did not need to serve and volley. He kept doing that and paid the price. It was not expected from a player of Ram’s calibre,” said Ali.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran, however, got one step closer to a medal after advancing to the quarterfinals. He beat Vietnam’s Ly Hoang Nam 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
However, it was curtains for the women’s doubles team when Raina and Prarthana Thombare were beaten 1-6, 3-6 by Kazakhstan’s Danilina and Ainitdinova Gozal.
In mixed doubles, Bopanna and Raina kept medal hopes alive with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Wong Chun Hun and Eudice Chong of Hong Kong to enter the quarterfinals.