India Strikes Gold in Mixed Doubles Tennis at Asian Games 2023
By Sujoy Roy
In a thrilling and hard-fought match at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, the dynamic Indian mixed doubles tennis duo of Rohan Bopanna and Rutuja Bhosale clinched the coveted gold medal. Facing formidable opponents from Chinese Taipei, Tsung-hao Huang and Liang En-shuo, the Indian pair displayed remarkable resilience and skill to secure their victory. This triumph not only marks a significant achievement for both Bopanna and Bhosale but also adds to India’s storied legacy in the sport at the Asian Games.
The match began with Rohan Bopanna showcasing his formidable service game, setting a strong tone. However, Huang and Liang quickly gained momentum, securing two consecutive breaks and holding their serve to take an early 5-1 lead and ultimately claiming the first set 6-2. Undeterred by this setback, Bopanna and Bhosale, who emphasized their need to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, made a pivotal decision to change sides for returns. This tactical shift proved to be game-changing.
The second set saw an intense battle between the Indian and Chinese Taipei teams, with both sides locked in a closely contested match. The Indian pair managed a decisive break in the eighth game, leveling the set at 6-3, and setting the stage for a thrilling tiebreak.
In the third set tiebreak, Bopanna and Bhosale seized an early advantage, surging to a 6-1 lead. Despite a late resurgence from their opponents, the Indian duo maintained their momentum and secured the tiebreak with a convincing 10-4 score. This resounding victory
in the tiebreak was a testament to their nerves of steel and unwavering determination.
Rutuja Bhosale, just 27 years old, showcased immense composure, especially in the face of a tight second-set situation, delivering stunning returns when it mattered most. This gold medal win marked a historic moment for Bhosale, as she secured her maiden Asian Games
For Rohan Bopanna, a seasoned campaigner in international tennis, this gold medal added to his collection after winning the men’s doubles gold at the Jakarta Asian Games in 2018. This achievement stands as a testament to his enduring prowess on the court.
This victory not only solidifies the status of Bopanna and Bhosale as top-tier mixed doubles players but also reinforces India’s legacy in tennis at the Asian Games. With this win, India now boasts seven medals in the mixed doubles category at the Asian Games, including three gold medals. Leander Paes and Sania Mirza’s victory at Doha 2006 and Saketh Myneni and Sania Mirza’s triumph at Incheon 2014 are among the notable achievements in this category.
In conclusion, Rohan Bopanna and Rutuja Bhosale’s remarkable journey to the top of the podium at the Asian Games 2023 not only exemplifies their outstanding tennis skills but also serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes across India. Their ability to adapt, strategize, and persevere under pressure reflects the essence of true champions, making this gold medal victory a proud moment for Indian tennis