Hangzhou: The Indian tennis camp had something to cheer Thursday with Ramkumar Ramanathan and Saketh Myneni reaching the men’s doubles gold medal round and the mixed doubles pair of Rohan Bopanna and Rutuja Bhosale assuring themselves of a medal.
The second-seeded team of Ramkumar and Myneni downed the gutsy Korean pair of Seongchan Hong and Soonwoo Kwon 6-1, 6-7(8-10), 10-0 to move to the final. Myneni will now gun for his second Asian Games gold, having won a mixed doubles yellow metal with Sania Mirza in the 2014 edition. On the other hand it will be a maiden Games medal for Ramkumar.
The Koreans fought back after losing the opening set in a rather sedate manner. However, Myneni and Ramkumar held their nerves to outplay their rivals in the Super tie-break.
The Indian team will now take on the Chinese Taipei combo, who ousted Thailand, in the gold medal match Friday.
India had won the men’s doubles title in the last edition in Indonesia with Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan emerging victorious in the final. However, this year Bopanna and Yuki Bhambri made an early exit.
The second-seeded Bopanna-Bhosale pair moved to the mixed doubles semifinals with a fluent 7-5, 6-3 win over Kazakhstan’s Zhibek Kulambayeva and Grigoriy Lomakin.
The first set seemed going into a tie-break as Kulambayeva was serving at 40-0 in the 12th game but she lost her serve from that strong position. There was hardly any fight in the second set.
Bopanna, who is playing his last Asian Games at 43, will not go without a medal.