Asian Games 2018: India Chalks Out Doubles Combination after Paes’ Exit

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Palembang: The Indian tennis squad has finally worked out its doubles combinations less than a day before the commencement of competition at the Asian Games on Sunday, following Leander Paes’ sudden exit from the games. Reportedly, Paes was unhappy with the team selection and decided to pull out of the mega sports event in the last minute.

Before Paes’s exit, the singles entries as well as the doubles pairing of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan for the games were already decided. Notably, these two events have always been significant for India at the Asian Games, where India had collected five medals four years ago including a mixed doubles gold, a silver and bronze in the men’s doubles besides a women’s doubles bronze.

Ramkumar Ramanathan, who will be playing singles alongside Prajnesh Gunneswaran, will form the second men’s doubles pairing with Sumit Nagal. Captain Zeeshan Ali  had a tough time choosing between Ramanathan, Gunneswaran and Nagai as they are all singles specialists.

Ali further expressed that Paes’ absence will be a major disadvantage for India and the women’s unit will also have to fight without Sania Mirza, who is expecting. Ankita Raina and Karman Kaur Thandi will be playing mixed doubles with Bopanna and Sharan respectively.

Captain and Coach Zeeshan Ali further revealed that rankings were not considered before the doubles selection and the decision was based on the best team combination. The decision was taken after the practice session on Friday evening followed by discussions with Rohan and Divij.

The first round matches for men’s single, women’s single and mixed double will take place tomorrow at Palembang in Indonesia.

Also Read: Tributes To ‘Statesman’: Indian Athletes To Dedicate Asian Games-2018 Medals To Vajpayee

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