A New Partnership
They say there are no permanent enemies in politics. One may say that the same probably applies to tennis as well.
Two years ago, Rohan Bopanna refused to partner Leander Paes for the 2012 Olympic Games, insisting that he would only go to London if he were to partner Mahesh Bhupathi.
But on Saturday, all had been forgotten and Paes and Bopanna revealed that they had signed up to partner each other in doubles for the 2015 season with an eye on the 2016 Rio Games.
A Big Win to Kick Off the Partnership
The duo made a sensational comeback on Saturday in the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie against Serbia. Down two sets to love and a break in the third, the Indians in blue dug deep inside to score an incredible five-set win over Ilja Bozoljac/ Nenad Zimonjic 8-6 in the decider. The win kept India alive in the Davis Cup tie after Serbia had won both the opening singles on Friday.
With Bhupathi in semi retirement now, and Paes and Bopanna having modest success on the circuit this season with respective partners Radek Stepanek and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, the Indians know that their best chance at success in the Rio Games would be to partner with each other.
Speaking to the media after the emotional win, Paes commented, “We haven’t played together a lot, but our styles of play match. It was a big result for us tonight and as we play more sets and matches, I am sure, we will get comfortable with each other. We have already signed up as partners for 2015 and may be the Rio Olympics in 2016.”
Rohan Bopanna – Building Bridges
Rohan Bopanna laid the foundation for this partnership by speaking to and getting Leander Paes to play in this Davis Cup rubber. So far it has proven to be a master stroke and Rohan has also mentioned that he is ready to look past previous events. On the partnership with Leander he commented, “”It will be great to play with Leander in 2015 and at the end of the year, we will take a call on 2016.”
With Bopanna’s big serve and Paes quick hands at the net, the two should form a potent combination on paper. But like so many other things in life and in tennis, not everything is black-and-white. Chemistry between partners is hard to find and Paes and Bopanna will soon find out if they have enough of that before they can realistically dream of an Olympic medal.