London Olympics Preview: Tennis




 

Too much energy already wasted in media trash talks, do they have anything left to go and grab any medal?

When people in India think about tennis, first thing comes to mind is Leander and Mahesh screaming, pumping and famous chest hitting together. Not even the Olympic bronze medal won by Leander Paes in singles will strike the mind, partially because Leander is known for most as doubles player only. For first time, India will have two doubles team, Mahesh & Leander not playing together when representing India and also we got representation in singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles all at once. Still the chances for medal looking blink.

Men Singles (Somdev Devvarman) – No chance

Somdev might had some great moments in commonwealth and Asian games, but Olympics is far too away from his reach, atleast at the moment. He didn’t played a competitive tennis for last 7 months due to shoulder surgery. His form and fitness pose serious concern already. Inspite of all this if Somdev need to win a medal, then in every match he need to pull an upset of the tournament.  He might had got lucky by avoiding any seeded player in first round but still his opponent Finnish player Nieminen is far better player. Even if Somdev somehow pulls of an magic, then his next opponent likely to be world No.4 Andy Murray. So, don’t pin any hopes or expectation because Somdev might even go down badly in 1st round itself.

Men’s Doubles (2 teams) – An outside chance

If he and Vishnu passes 2nd round and quarters, then a silver medal is likely.

Something seems to be working for Mahesh in this Olympic. He bullied for his own team and succeeded in getting it. Now, he got seeded but Leander is not. Holy cow isn’t? but still needs so much luck to get a medal . Mahesh and Bopanna will face tough battle from Belarus Max Mirnyi and Bury in 1st round. If they manage to squeeze through also, their big test comes in quarter-finals against no.3 seeded Serbian’s and even after that, either defending champions Roger Federer and Wawrinka or tournament favourites Bryan brothers will be waiting in semi’s.

A fighter in Leander needs to be awaken. Leander and Vishnu must play their best ever tennis to even reach semis. They might got some favour in 1st round but next-up likely is second seeded France pair of Tsonga and Llodra.

I don’t fancy chances with Mahesh and Bopanna. They both are known to be error-prone especially Bopanna. As for Leander, if Vishnu gets good serve and produce some good shots to keep the ball in play from baseline, and also somehow in miracle passes through 2nd round and quarter-finals, then trust me, they will challenge for silver medal. In contrast, Mahesh and Bopanna got tough matches from quarter onwards in which top players raise to occasions easily.

Mixed doubles (Leander Paes and Sania Mirza) – A medal chance

India’s best chance to win a medal in tennis lies here. Leander after all, got something to go in his favour in the bitter selection battle. Leander and Sania will get definitely seeded and thus making their chances count more. Although draw and player names  are not announced yet, they still need to win three matches to ensure a medal. If they play to their potential, then silver medal is quite possible.

Women’s doubles (Sania Mirza and Rushmi Chakravarthy) – No chance at all

India holds absolutely no chance at all, not even in the wildest dreams. They may get past the 1st round but in 2nd round, they will meet 7th seeded Italian pair. There are atleast three medal favourites seeded pairs with American Raymond and Huber as the top. But clearly if the unseeded William sisters stay fit, then they will roll over anyone who come on their way to gold medal.

Just wish players racket speaks as loud as their mouth did. There is a great chance for silver medal in mixed doubles but only if they play as team.

 

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