AITA chief hopeful of Olympic medal in tennis

Asked about medal prospects for Rio Olympics, the veteran administrator Anil Khanna said it should not be a surprise if India finish on the podium.

Leander Paes (left) and Rohan Bopanna, India's medal hopefuls in the men's doubles at Rio 2016, kept their off-field differences aside in the Davis Cup tie against Korea.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Boosted by Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna’s clinical performance in the Asia/Oceania Group I against South Korea, AITA chief Anil Khanna says Indian men stand a chance of winning a medal at the Rio Olympics, though mixed doubles remains the country’s best bet.

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Paes and Bopanna kept their off-court differences aside to outclass the Korean pair of Seong Chan Hong and Hong Chung in straight sets at the grass courts of Chandigarh Club last weekend. “It came at the right time. Both Leander and Rohan played really well and it bodes well for them ahead of Olympics,” Khanna said.

Asked about medal prospects, the veteran administrator said it should not be a surprise if India finish on the podium. "My view is that we have a chance in mixed doubles and men’s doubles. Though the world’s best will be competing at the Olympics — be it Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak (Djokovic), Andy Murray and all," the president of All India Tennis Association said.

Last Saturday, the Indian pair of Paes and Bopanna dished out a dominating performance to trounce the visitors 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in just one hour and 41 minutes to guide India into the World Group playoffs.

The reluctant partners for the Rio Olympics did not face any competition from the Koreans in what was their only competitive match together before the Games.