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Bopanna Picks Balaji As Doubles Partner in Paris Olympics

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In a significant development for Indian tennis, AITA has confirmed seasoned doubles specialist Rohan Bopanna’s partnership with Sriram Balaji for the upcoming Paris Olympics.

The pair aims to bring home a medal for India, leveraging Bopanna’s extensive experience and Balaji’s youthful energy. They will be guided by the esteemed coach Balachandran Manikkath, who has a proven track record of nurturing top-tier tennis talent and physio Rebecca Van Orshaegen.

Bopanna, a veteran in the international tennis circuit with numerous accolades, expressed optimism about Balaji’s explosive game being suited to his style.

This announcement comes after weeks of speculation about Bopanna’s potential partner for the prestigious event. Bopanna had qualified for the Olympics by virtue of his top 10 ranking (4).

It will be his 3rd Olympics doubles campaign after pairing with Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes in 2012 & 2016 respectively.

Balaji, who has been making waves with his performances in recent tournaments, is enthusiastic about the opportunity to play alongside Bopanna. Balaji had lost to Bopanna in the 3rd round of French Open held at the Olympic venue, Roland Garros in Paris.

Playing alongside Miguel Ángel Reyes-Varela, they lost a close match to the 2nd seeded Bopanna & Matt Ebden 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-7(8).
He’s at a career high ranking of 61.
One challenge for the Indian duo would be lack of playing time together as their combined ranking is not good enough to enter bigger events on the ATP tour.
Bopanna has already mentioned that they will try to play together in a couple of ATP tournaments after the Wimbledon like Hamburg or Umaag Open.
Last year at the Asian games, Rohan Bopanna had crashed out in the opening match in round of 16 pairing with Yuki Bhambri without much practice playing together.

Written by Nithish

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