Palembang: The Indian tennis contingent won three medals instead of the projected five but that happened due to Ramkumar Ramanathan’s disappointing performance in singles and the unexpected absence of stalwart Leander Paes, said coach Zeeshan Ali.
“The target was a medal in all five events. Ram was a big disappointment in singles. Expected a lot from the second seed, he had been playing good tennis over the last six months. Disappointed that he played a wrong tactical match, doing things that he was not comfortable doing (serve and volley). There was a medal prospect right there,” Ali said reflecting on the performance here.
India won five medals including a mixed doubles gold at Incheon four years ago. At the Jakabaring Tennis Center, medals came from men’s doubles, men’s singles and women’s singles.
It was a very creditable performance from Prajnesh to win a medal but he was the fourth seed. Similarly, Ram too was expected to reach the semifinals
The captain and coach said India should have won two men’s singles medals and one in mixed doubles. It was still a pretty decent effort, considering Paes had pulled-out last minute as he was unhappy with the team selection. That left Ali with very little time to decide one men’s doubles combination and the two mixed doubles pairings. The mixed pairing of Ankita Raina and Rohan Bopanna, and Karman Kaur Thandi and Divij Sharan was formed after just one try-out session
“To say that we didn’t miss Paes would be incorrect. I had to work men’s doubles and mixed doubles combination in no time, especially mixed. With Leander’s experience, things could have been different in mixed and men’s doubles,” said Ali.