Sun, 03 Dec 2023

Hangzhou [China], October 1 (ANI): After winning the gold medal in tennis mixed doubles, veteran player Rohan Bopanna said sports and tennis in India are on the rise and he will not play next Asian Games.

Bopanna and Rutuja Bhosale bagged a gold medal in the mixed doubles event at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou on Saturday.

Bopanna, who signed off from his last Asian Games with another gold medal in tow, said finishing on top of the podium was a big moment for him and This is the 43-year-old's second consecutive gold medal at the event and Rutuja's first.

"Extremely proud. I think Indian sports are on the rise. Tennis is on the rise. We have always managed to win gold medals in Tennis... It's a really big moment for both Rutuja and me that we were able to get gold in tennis... It shows that a little bit of support from the government and the federation makes such a big difference... I am not gonna be playing next Asian Games so I am just enjoying the atmosphere in the athlete's village," Bopanna told ANI.

Praising her partner Bopanna, Rutuja said she was excited when the veteran player chose to play in mixed doubles with her and he kept giving tips throughout the match.

"When he (Rohan Bopanna) chose to play Doubles with me, I was really happy and excited... He was so good on the court with me, like today I was a little nervous when I walked down the court... He kept giving me small tips throughout the match...," Rutuja Bhosale said.

The second-seeded Indian duo dominated ninth seeds Tsung-hao Huang and Liang En-shuo of Chinese Taipei after being one set down 2-6, 6-3, 10-4 in the final at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre. The match lasted one hour and 14 minutes.

Rohan Bopanna announced his retirement from the Davis Cup after 21 years, leaving his jersey on the court. A week earlier, he signed off from the 2023 US Open while holding the men's doubles runner-up title.

This was India's second medal in tennis at the Asian Games 2023, following a silver in the men's doubles event.

Overall, India have now won 10 gold medals at the continental meet in tennis. (ANI)

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