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India can win Olympic medal in men’s doubles: Bhupathi

Mahesh Bhupathi

  Mumbai : India have a good chance to win medals in both men’s doubles and mixed doubles events in next year’s Rio Olympics, feels former tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi.

“Men’s doubles and mixed doubles – in both we have a good chance (of winning medals). Rohan (Bopanna) and Leander (Paes) are both world-class players (who will be the men’s doubles partners), so why not,” said Bhupathi here today.a

The former doubles star, who forged a great combination with Paes to win many Grand Slams, was reacting to a query whether he shared the views of another ex-Davis Cup star, Ramesh Krishnan, that India’e best chances of a medal was in the mixed doubles in which Paes is expected to partner Sania Mirza, the world’s top woman doubles player.

Bhupathi, the founder-cum-Managing Director of the International Premier Tennis League, praised Sania’s stupendous display in women’s doubles partnering Swiss ace Martina Hingis and said the duo complemented each other to perfection.

“Inspirational, if I have to say one word (about Saina’s performance). She has really worked hard over the last three years, not only this year, putting herself in positions to win finals of Grand Slams.”

“All the hard work needed someone to complement her perfectly and Martina and she complement each other perfectly. I think they are going to win many Grand Slams over the next two years,” the 41-year-old former player added.

Sania and Martina won nine doubles titles this year, including Wimbledon, US Open and season-ending WTA finals, and for the Indian it was her tenth title overall during 2015.

Bhupathi sounded upbeat about Indian tennis scene and pointed out Yuki Bhambri’s rise into the top 100 of men’s singles as one of its reasons.

He also singled out Wimbledon boys’ doubles champion Sumit Nagal of Haryana and 17-year-old girl Karman Kaur Thandi as the players to watch out for.

“Yuki is now 89 in the world, so we have someone who is going to play in the main draw of Grand Slam in men’s singles. Sumit and Karman are both the future of tennis in men and women for us. Things are going (well),” he added.

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