Medal a possibility in Tokyo Olympics: Bopanna

Despite having split up with doubles partner Dhivij Sharan, Rohan Bopanna harbours hopes of winning an Olympic medal next year in Tokyo.

Rohan Bopanna is keen to play in Tokyo next year where he has had success in the past.   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

When Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan came together at the start of the year to play on the ATP Tour, one of the slated aims was to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But despite having split-up -- after just six tournaments -- Bopanna said that the Olympic dream was still alive.

“Ideally we would want to get our rankings up and play together for the Olympics,” said Bopanna, on the sidelines of an event of sportswear brand asics. “But right now mine and Divij’s rankings (43 and 49 respectively) aren't getting us into the Masters series tournaments. It was either a case of changing partners and playing Masters or not playing at all.”

“So, at Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome, the six big events, we had no other option but to change. But we played together once before the US Open and at Stockholm 250 next month we will play if we can get in.”

In fact, Bopanna felt India had a genuine shot at a tennis medal in Tokyo. In Rio 2016, Bopanna and Sania Mirza had lost narrowly in the mixed doubles semifinals to the American pair of Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram.

“I don't want to bring that [defeat] back up now. It has been a few years,” Bopanna said with a laugh. “But having said that, we know we have a great chance. We have been in that situation, and tomorrow when we're there [again], we are like ‘okay’. Constantly playing on the circuit, you know all the players. And I’ve loved playing in Japan. I have won titles in Tokyo. I love the conditions, and also being in Asia, it's good for us.”

On travelling to Pakistan for the Davis Cup tie, Bopanna stated that he would wait for ITF’s security review to be completed. “ITF will announce on November 4th and only after that we will know. Just waiting for ITF to take a call.”