Fit again Bopanna eyeing Tokyo 2020

Forced out of India’s recent Davis Cup tie due to a shoulder injury, doubles specialist Rohan Bopanna said his recovery is on track.

File Photo: Rohan Bopanna pulled out of Davis Cup because of a shoulder injury.   -  AP

 

After recovering from a shoulder injury that pulled him out of the Davis Cup group tie against Pakistan, doubles specialist Rohan Bopanna is keen to return to the circuit with an eye on Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Bopanna, ranked 38 on the ATP list, will be available for tournaments along with partner Divij Sharan (ranked 46).

READ| Bopanna pulls out of Davis Cup due to shoulder injury

“I am looking forward to the Olympic Games. Divij (Sharan) and me are trying to play as much as possible, in tournaments wherever we can get in,” said the 39-year-old on the sidelines of Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020 event by Asics here on Thursday.

With their rankings, the duo can only aim ATP 250 events. “We don’t get into the (ATP Tour) 500 and (ATP) Masters because the cut-offs are really high. Having said that, we need to focus on our individual rankings to qualify for the Olympics (July 2020), which is right after the French Open (June 2020). We have a few months left,” said Bopanna.

The qualification scenario will be clear once the official rankings are updated post French Open.

They will be eyeing a couple of “Grand Slams”.

“Grand Slams and ATP Masters series are big events which we have to really focus on. Like I mentioned, we need to take care of our individual rankings to make sure we qualify as a (doubles) team.”

READ | Ramkumar Ramanathan: Playing fewer events is my plan for 2020

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) will be deciding the Indian entries in tennis competition at Tokyo.

Among the Indians, controversies over doubles pairing had flared up in 2012 and 2016. Sania Mirza had lashed out at the AITA for pairing her with Paes in the mixed doubles event at London Olympics in 2012.

Four years later in Rio, Paes’ delay in joining the squad made matters worse. There were reports that he also refused to share a room with partner Bopanna at the Games village.

Responding to a query about players’ disagreements with the national federation, Bopanna said, “The key here is having good communication. The federation and players need to get together and find the best scenario. We have had so many issues that it (situation) can only get better. Playing for the country is motivating for a player to develop..”

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