Divij happy with Wimbledon performance

More than playing his maiden quarterfinals in a Grand Slam, ‘that too at the Wimbledon’, Divij Sharan was happy with the quality of fight against two of the best players in the doubles game.

India's Divij Sharan (left) celebrates with his partner Artem Sitak after reaching the first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinals of his career at the Wimbledon on Monday.   -  PTI

More than playing his maiden quarterfinals in a Grand Slam, ‘that too at the Wimbledon’, Divij Sharan was happy with the quality of fight against two of the best players in the doubles game.

The 32-year-old Divij and his Kiwi partner Artem Sitak had gone down with guns blazing against Mark Bryan and Jack Sock of the US 6-7(4), 6-7(5), 7-6(3), 4-6. “Obviously, it is not easy to have lost, as each match is a bigger opportunity. We played some really good tennis and came through tough physical and mental tests in the last couple of matches, to win in five sets,’’ recalled Divij, about the two rounds prior to the loss.

For the record, Mike Bryan has already won 20 Grand Slam doubles titles, including 16 in men’s doubles. He had also won the Olympic gold in 2012 in the London Games. Jack Sock, quite a smart player in singles, had won the Wimbledon doubles title.

“Mike Bryan will now become the No.1 player in the world again,’’ Divij pointed out.

The effort will also see Divij break into new ground as far as his own rank is concerned.

“I will break into the top 40 for the first time after this performance. I am looking forward to my next tournaments, to build on this run, keep improving and compete for the biggest titles,’’ he said.

Having won only three matches in four tournaments on grass after the French Open, in the run up to Wimbledon, Divij utilised the time on hand to prepare well to be at his best at the Mecca of tennis.

“Coming into Wimbledon, I knew there could be long matches, as it is the only tournament apart from Davis Cup where we have to play best of five sets. I put in the work on and off the court to be ready for it. Even though we had two very long come-back wins from being two sets to love down, I felt prepared and ready for our match against Mike and Jack. I probably played some of my best tennis of the tournament in that match’’, Divij remarked.

If Rohan Bopanna is ready, Divij is scheduled to play with him in Bastad, Sweden, but has tied up with Artem Sitak for most of the circuit.

“I have tentatively fixed with Artem to play some of the tournaments together, but we would switch, to get into the bigger tournaments, if required. I will also skip some of the tournaments in the circuit to prepare and play at the Asian Games’’, said Divij.

Asked about an ideal partner for him to prosper in the doubles circuit, Divij was quite sharp with his response.

“I think, I will definitely move up in the rankings if I played with Federer! Obviously helps with as much strength the partner has.

However, over the last year, as I have played with many different players, I have worked on keeping the focus on myself and see how best I can contribute to winning the match for the team,’’ Divij said.

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