Sharan-Thandi win tricky mixed doubles opener at Asian Games

Playing together for the first time, Thandi and Sharan eked out a 6-4, 6-4 win in a round of 32 match lasting 81 minutes at the Jakabaring Tennis Center.

Karman Kaur Thandi in action. (File Photo)   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Seventh seeds Karman Kaur Thandi and Divij Sharan of India defeated Filipino pairing of Marian Jane Capadocia and Alberto Jr Lim in a testing mixed doubles opener at the 18th Asian Games on Sunday.

Playing together for the first time, Thandi and Sharan eked out a 6-4, 6-4 win in a round of 32 match lasting 81 minutes at the Jakabaring Tennis Center.

Like Thandi and Sharan, the other Indians in the five categories too had a first round bye but they will be on court on Monday.

Captain and coach Zeeshan Ali was glad that Thandi and Sharan had a tough opening match.

“You don’t want a 6-1, 6-1 result in the first match you are playing. It is good that they had a tough match. It will help them in the coming matches,” Ali said.

The mixed doubles pairings were decided last minute following the sudden withdrawal of Leander Paes.

Rohan Bopanna and Ankita Raina are the other Indian pair in the mixed doubles. Sharan also said it was a tricky opener.

“Karma had played with the guy on the junior circuit. We didn’t know much about the girl. May be they did not have any pressure and played freely. They both had contrasting games. But the experience on the ATP circuit helped,” said Sharan.

“We broke them at 4-4 in both the sets. It was a tough match and should give us momentum going forward.”

Sharan and Boppana are the top seeds in the men’s doubles. They will be playing their round of 32 match against the Indonesian combine of David Agung Susanto and Ignatius Anthony Susanto tomorrow.

Also in action will be second seed in the men’s singles, Ramkumar Ramanathan. The Indian should have a comfortable outing against Rifqi Fitriadi in the round of 32 match on Monday.

In the women’s singles, sixth seed Raina will face Indonesian Beatrice Gumulya in the morning session on Monday. Raina is taking part in all the women’s events — singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

Seventh seed Thandi will open her singles against Mongolian Jargal Altansarnai.