Bopanna and Ramkumar win Adelaide International with upset win over top seeds
Melbourne, Jan 9 (Tennis News) Teaming up for the first-time on the ATP Tour, India's Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan won the Adelaide International doubles trophy with a hard-fought 7-6 (6) 6-1 win over top seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo here on Sunday.
Bopanna's excellent service returns at crucial times and Ramkumar's all-round game tilted the match in their favour.
In the one hour and 21 minutes contest, the Indians saved all the four break points they faced and broke their rivals twice.
It was Bopanna's 20th ATP doubles title and first for Ramkumar, who was playing only in his second summit clash at this level, having ended a runner-up at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in 2018.
"When Ramkumar is serving by your side, you can finish the point early, so that was an advantage," said Bopanna.
Asked how different it was playing with Ramkumar than another compatriot and left-handed Divij Sharan, Bopanan said, "With Divij, we had to create a point, ensure that first volley opportunity is taken while with Ram, the point can be finished early.
"I am surprised not many Indians entered this event. If anyone had landed here, would have entered the field since not many players were there." Bopanna and Ramkumar will split USD 18700 as prize money and earned 250 ranking points each.
The win would be a huge confidence booster for Ramkumar ahead of the Australian Open Qualifiers, where he will aim to make the singles main draw of a Grand Slam once again.
After saving an early breakpoint, Bopanna and Ramkumar upped their game. In the seventh game, when Melo served at 30-0, Bopanna's unreturnable service on the right of the Dodig and later a crushing forehand winner made it 30-all but the Brazilian eventually held.
Bopanna then saved another breakpoint and converted the deciding deuce point to make it 4-4.
Serving to stay afloat in the set at 5-6, the Indian pair was up 40-30 when Dodig created a winner on Bopanna's serve that whizzed past Ramkumar on his right but the big-serving Coorgi hit an ace to drag it to a tie-breaker.
At 6-6, Bopanna found a service return winner on Melo's serve to earn their second set point and converted with his booming serve.
It was one-way traffic in the second set with the Indians dominating all through.
Also Read : LSpain beats Poland to reach finals for second time of ATP Cup
News Sources : PTI
Valeryla, Vijay Sundar excel for Gujarat Panthers
Mumbai, Dec 16 (Tennis News) Vijay Sundar Prashant beat former world top 100 player Yuki Bhambri and then combined with doubles specialist Divij Sharan to help Gujarat Panthers to beat Delhi Binny's Brigade 44-36 in the Tennis Premier League here on Thursday.
Playing the last match late on Wednesday, Gujarat had opened their account with a 43-37 win over Chennai Stallions.
It was the Ukranian Valeryla Strakhova, who got the Gujarat team pumped up, when she recovered from trailing 3-9 against her Thai opponent Peangtarn Plipuech to tie the first women’s singles at 10-10.
Her performance seemed to have inspired Vijay Sundar, who rarely made a mistake against Bhambri while racing to a 13-7 victory.
Manish Sureshkumar and Peangtarn raised Delhi's hopes of a fightback when they won the mixed doubles against Dhivij Sharan and Valeryla 12-8, to cut Gujarat's lead to just 2 points.
But Sharan and Vijay Sundar, both doubles specialists were too strong for Bhambri and Manish, winning the final rubber 13-7 for a comfortable victory in the end.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Tigers slumped to their third defeat from as many games, losing 34-46 to Mumbai Leon Army despite Prajnesh Gunneswaran's strong singles show to defeat fellow Davis Cupper Ramkumar Ramanathan 13-7, giving his team a four point lead with two matches to be played.
However, the mixed doubles pair of Aryan Goveas and Diana Marcinkevica caved in tamely against Sowjanya and Niki Poonacha, losing 5-15, a deficit too big for Aryan and Prajnesh to cover up in the final men’s doubles encounter.
In the other late match on Wednesday, Mumbai Leon Army beat Delhi Binny’s Brigade 44-36.
Also Read : Hebert and Mahut receive doubles honors as Karatsev wins improved player
News Source : PTI
Sports Minister hands over trophies to 2020 National Sports Awards winners
New Delhi, Nov 1 (Sports news) Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Monday physically handed over trophies to the winners of National Sports Awards 2020 after the award ceremony was held virtually last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All the winners of the National Sports Awards 2020 had already received their cash awards but were not able to collect their trophies and citation because of the pandemic.
On August 29 last, the Sports Ministry had conferred 74 National Sports Awards, including five Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (now renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna) and 27 Arjuna awards.
The notable awardees who attended Monday's ceremony at a city hotel here were women's hockey captain Rani Rampal, star wrestler Vinesh Phogat and 2016 Paralympics gold winner Thangavelu Mariyappan, who were handed the prestigious Khel Ratna.
Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist boxer Lovlina Borgohain, cricketer Ishant Sharma, sprinter Dutee Chand, archer Atanu Das and shuttlers Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Chandrasekhar Shetty were among others who collected their the Arjuna trophies.
"The National Sports Awards is a prestigious award that is won by athletes after years of dedication and hard work. Congratulations to all the awardees and the very best for their future events. The journey of the awardees doesn't end here, there is more to be achieved," Thakur said during the function.
"We must also continue to look for talented athletes, groom them and make them capable of winning medals at the international level. So I request all the athletes to take the pledge of at least grooming and training five such athletes who can win medals for India in the future." The event was also graced by Sports Secretary Sujata Chaturvedi, Youth Affairs Secretary Usha Sharma and other top ministry and SAI officials.
List of National Sports Awardees for 2020: Khel Ratna Award: Rohit Sharma (Cricket), Mariyappan Thangavelu (Para-Athletics), Manika Batra (Table Tennis), Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling), Rani Rampal (Hockey).
Arjuna Award: Atanu Das (Archery), Dutee Chand (Athletics), Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy (Badminton), Chirag Chandrasekhar Shetty (Badminton), Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (Basketball), Manish Kaushik (Boxing), Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing), Ishant Sharma (Cricket), Deepti Sharma (Cricket), Sawant Ajay Anant (Equestrian), Sandesh Jhingan (Football), Aditi Ashok (Golf), Akashdeep Singh (Hockey), Deepika (Hockey), Deepak (Kabaddi), Kale Sarika Sudhakar (Kho Kho), Dattu Baban Bhokanal (Rowing), Manu Bhaker (Shooting), Saurabh Chaudhary (Shooting), Madhurika Patkar (Table Tennis), Divij Sharan (Tennis), Shiva Keshavan (Winter Sports), Divya Kakran (Wrestling), Rahul Aware (Wrestling), Suyash Narayan Jadhav (Para-Swimming), Sandeep (Para-Athletics), Manish Narwal (Para Shooting).
Dronacharya Award (Life-Time Category): Dharmendra Tiwary (Archery), Purushotham Rai (Athletics), Shiv Singh (Boxing), Romesh Pathania (Hockey), Krishan Kumar Hooda (Kabaddi), Vijay Bhalchandra Munishwar (Para Powerlifting), Naresh Kumar (Tennis), Om Parkash Dahiya (Wrestling).
Dronacharya (Regular Category): Jude Felix (Hockey), Yogesh Malviya (Mallakhamb), Jaspal Rana (Shooting), Kuldeep Kumar Handoo (Wushu), Gaurav Khanna (Para Badminton).
Dhyan Chand Award: Kuldip Singh Bhullar (Athletics), Jincy Philips (Athletics), Pradeep Shrikrishna Gandhe (Badminton), Trupti Murgunde (Badminton), N Usha(Boxing), Lakha Singh (Boxing), Sukhvinder Singh Sandhu (Football), Ajit Singh (Hockey), Manpreet Singh (Kabaddi), J Ranjith Kumar (Para-Athletics), Satyaprakash Tiwari (Para Badminton), Manjeet Singh (Rowing), Late Shri Sachin Nag (Swimming), Nandan Bal (Tennis), Netarpal Hooda (Wrestling).
Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards: Anita Devi (Land Adventure), Col Sarfraz Singh (Land Adventure), Taka Tamut (Land Adventure), Keval Hiren Kakka (Land Adventure), Satendra Singh (Water Adventure), Gajanand Yadava (Air Adventure), Late Magan Bissa (Life Time Achievement).
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy: Panjab University, Chandigarh.
Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar: Identification and Nurturing of Budding and Young Talent: Lakshya Institute, Army Sports Institute.
Encouragement to sports through Corporate Social Responsibility: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Ltd.
Employment of sportspersons and sports welfare measures: Air Force Sports Control Board.
Sports for Development: International Institute of Sports Management (IISM).
Also Read : Sports Ministry to hand over trophies to winners of 2020 National Sports Awards on November 1
News Source : PTI
Davis Cup: Bopanna and Ramkumar crack in must-win doubles match, India lose tie to Finland
Espoo (Finland), Sep 18 (Tennis news) Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan blew away their chances in the must-win doubles match as India lost the World Group I tie to Finland after conceding an unassailable 0-3 lead, here on Saturday.
Captain Rohit Rajpal changed the doubles combination at the last minute by pairing Bopanna with Ramkumar instead of left-handed Divij Sharan but nothing helped as they lost the crucial match 6-7(2) 6-7(2) to Henri Kontinen and Harri Heliovaara in one hour and 38 minutes.
Both Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar had lost their singles matches on Friday and to stay alive in the tie, the Indians needed to win the doubles.
The reverse singles have now been rendered inconsequential.
Heliovaara was considered the most vulnerable of all four players on the court but he raised his game by several notches and created a huge impact on the outcome of the match with his fearless approach.
The Indian, on the contrary, fumbled even when they had advantage as they squandered as many as four breakpoints in the eight game of the second set when winning that game could have given them the chance to put the hosts under the pump.
After doing all the hard work, the Indians cracked at crucial junctures.
At 3-3, the Indian pair attacked the serve of Heliovaara, going 30-all but the home player served big on the next two points to ensure the set stays on serve.
Eventually the opening set went to tie-breaker. Heliovaara found a stunning service return winner off Bopanna on the second point to get the mini break and also held his serve as Finland took a 4-1 lead.
Then came Ramkumar's double fault and a volley error at the net that gave Finland players five set points. They converted the second when Ramkumar could not return Kontinen's serve.
A forehand winner by Ramkumar at 30-all in the second game of the second set, set up the first break chance for India and they converted when Kontinen could not return Bopanna's backhand.
However, the big-serving Bopanna dropped his own serve in the next game when he made consecutive unforced errors.
In the next game, the Indians went up 40-0 on Heliovaara's serve but blew away all three breakpoints and later one more to let the rivals hold for a 4-4 scoreline.
Another tie-breaker followed. Helovaara pulled of a sensational forehand winner at 5-2 to get to first match point and it was all over for India when Ramkumar could not return the ball in the next point.
Also read: Davis Cup: Prajnesh, Ramkumar lose on Day 1, India trail 0-2 against Finland
News source: PTI
Davis Cup: Prajnesh, Ramkumar lose on Day 1, India trail 0-2 against Finland
Espoo (Finland), Sep 17 (Tennis news) Prajnesh Gunneswaran yet again lost to a lower-ranked player in the Davis Cup while Ramkumar Ramanathan went down fighting in the second singles as India trailed 0-2 in the World Group I tie against Finland, here on Friday.
Up against Otto Virtanen, ranked as low as 419 in the ATP ranking chart, the 165th ranked Prajnesh lost 3-6 6-7(1) in just one hour 25 minutes.
Ramkumar, ranked 187, presented a good fight but lost 4-6 5-7 to Finland's number one player, Emil Ruusuvuori, who is ranked 74th.
While Ramkumar tried a few tricks in his bag to overcome his rival, Prajnesh's defeat was extremely disappointing since he had a less experienced player, who had won just one Davis Cup match before this tie, to contend with.
After dropping his serve in the sixth game, Ramkumar got the break back immediately, playing smartly. He often charged the net to surprise his opponent, getting some good points.
However, he went down 0-40 in the 10th game while serving to stay in the set and lost it when he hit a backhand wide.
Ruusuvuori countered Ramkumar's strategy of chip and charge easily in the second set, hitting a few passing winners. The home player even got a breakpoint in the fourth game but Ramkumar saved that to stay on serve.
The Finnish player raised his game post 5-5 scoreline as he started to add more power to his game and strokes.
He hit a splendid cross court winner at 40-40 to earn his first match point but Ramkumar kept his cool and saved that by dispatching a winner in open court from close the net.
However, the Indian served a double fault soon to hand Ruusuvuori his second and the Finland player converted that with a backhand passing winner.
Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan now must the doubles match to keep India alive.
Earlier, Prajnesh saved two breaks early but dropped serve in the sixth game to fall behind in the opening set. The left-hander got a chance to break back when Virtanen double-faulted at deuce point in the next game but Prajnesh could not capitalise on the chance.
Virtanen served out the set without any fuss in the ninth game. With home support, Virtanen kept the Indian under the pump. Prajnesh was again in danger of dropping serve early in the second set but he managed to hold the third game after a couple of deuce points.
Prajnesh kept fighting till 4-all but was down 0-40 after serving a double fault in the ninth game. However, he saved five breakpoints and eventually held the game with a well-calculated drop shot.
The Indian served the 11th game set love and now needed to break his rival, who was playing effortlessly.
He got that little chance when Virtanen hit forehand on net at deuce point but the Finnish pulled off an ace at the break point. Eventually it went to a tie-breaker, in which Prajnesh fell behind 0-3 and then 1-5.
An angled serve that Prajnesh could not return gave the home player a match point, which he converted with an easy winner.
Also read: Davis Cup: Indian players need to give their all against Finland
News source: PTI
Davis Cup: Indian players need to give their all against Finland
Espoo (Finland), Sep 16 (Tennis news) India's singles players will need to back their talent with some killer instinct for the team to emerge victorious against a reasonably strong Finland in the Davis Cup World Group I tie, starting here on Friday.
Prajnesh Guneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan have the experience of playing the big matches.
They have rubbed shoulders with better players but it's time for them to move forward from playing mere close matches. They need to deliver that knockout punch that will take India to the next year's Qualifiers.
If Ramkumar can play the same way he competed against 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic in the previous tie against Croatia and does not miss the chances he gets, India will have a very good chance in the tie.
As the second-best ranked player from India, Ramkumar will be up against Finland's number one player Emil Ruusuvuori, who is placed 74 in the world, on the opening day of the tie.
If Ramkumar takes the court first and puts India on board, that will be a huge result for the visitors and take the pressure off Prajnesh (ranked 165) who will most likely compete against Otto Virtanen (ranked 419).
Prajnesh too gets close to wins with his talent but has the tendency of giving up advantageous positions, like the one against Borna Coric in the last tie against Croatia.
Maybe it's pressure of playing for the flag but the left-hander from Chennai insists it is not the case.
"Matches against good players are always close if I'm playing well. I have won matches against good players being in the lead and I have also lost matches being in the lead. That's just the way they go," Prajnesh told PTI.
"Matches which are closely fought can go either way. There is no pressure of playing for India that influences me...Sometimes there's more pressure, other times that's less.
"Again, just depends on how well I cope on that particular day," he added.
India considered the doubles point in their pocket till the time Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi competed together but now things have changed.
Rohan Bopanna (44) has immense experience of the big stage and he needs to use all of that to shepherd the team with Divij Sharan (86) since their opponents -- Henri Kontinen (ranked 46) and Harri Heliovaara (ranked 76) -- will be a tough nut to crack.
Bopanna and Sharan have played only one tie together, winning against Italy in March 2019.
Most of 40-year-old Bopanna's doubles wins have come either with either Paes or Saketh Myneni.
It remains to be seen if captain Rohit Rajpal fields Bopanna with Sharan or Myneni, who is the fifth member of the squad.
Kontinen has played three of the four Grand Slams this year with Edouard Roger-Vasselin but paired with Heliovaara at the US Open, probably to get ready for this tie.
They had a decent first round before losing in a close three-set match.
Non-playing captain Rohit Rajpal feels that the conditions are not entirely in the favour of the hosts since the low bounce of the courts will benefit the Indian players, who can play the chip-and-charge game to counter their rivals.
Also Read : Low bounce, not-so-fast court surprises Indian Davis Cup team in Finland
News Source : PTI
Bopanna retains place in Indian team for Davis Cup tie against Finland in September
New Delhi, Aug 6 (Tennis news) Doubles exponent Rohan Bopanna on Friday retained his place in the Indian Davis Cup team despite his recent run-in with the national federation, which named a five-member squad for the upcoming World Group I away tie against Finland.
Expectedly, all top three singles players of the country -- Prajnesh Gunneswaran (ranked 158), Sumit Nagal (159) and Ramkumar Ramanathan (204) -- have been picked for the September 17-18 tie, which will be held on indoor courts in Espoo Metro Areena in Espoo city.
The AITA selection committee had a virtual meeting on Thursday to decide on the team.
Rohit Rajpal will be the non-playing captain of the side and Zeeshan Ali the coach.
Bopnna, ranked 40, will have his doubles partner in Divij Sharan, ranked 82.
The duo could not qualify for the ongoing Tokyo Olympics due to low combined rank.
In the last tie against Croatia which India lost 1-3, Bopanna had paired with Leander Paes. Rest is the same squad.
Bopanna had accused the All Indian Tennis Association (AITA) secretary general Anil Dhupar of misleading him and the nation by claiming that the ITF had accepted his and Sumit Nagal's entry for the doubles competition of the Tokyo Games.
Bopanna made public his telephonic conversation with Dhupar, putting the audio recording on his twitter page.
Finland has one higher-ranked singles player in Emil Ruusuvuori, who is placed 69th in the ATP chart, while it does not have a player inside top-100.
Finland also has two decent doubles players in Henri Kontinen and Harri Heliovaara, who are ranked 39 and 38 respectively.
Also read: Sania and Ankita lose to Ukranian Twins as World number one shocked in Singles
Selection committee member Balram Singh told PTI that the recent controversy regarding Bopanna was not discussed by the members.
"There are former players in the committee and they know the value of a doubles rubber point in Davis Cup. Rohan, being our top player, was a natural choice," Balram said.
"It was just a matter of misunderstanding that a controversy erupted," he said.
The winner of the tie will qualify for the Qualifiers in 2022 while the losing teams will compete in the play-offs to retain their place in World Group I next year.
News source: PTI
AITA to refer Bopanna's recording act to ethics committee, makes pubic correspondence with ITF
New Delhi, Jul 20 (Sports news) Rohan Bopanna's act of making public his conversation with All India Tennis Association (AITA) secretary general Anil Dhupar will be referred to its ethics and managing committee, the sports body said on Tuesday.
AITA also released its complete correspondence with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) concerning the qualification of India's men doubles team for the Tokyo Olympics.
Seeking to clear the air around the negative perception created by comments of Bopanna and Sania Mirza, the AITA put on record how it aggressively pursued the case of Bopanna and Divij Sharan for an entry into the Games, between June 28 and July 16.
The e-mail correspondence revealed that on July 2, AITA demanded a clarification from ITF on how the world body gave entry to USA (CR 118), Spain (CR 170) and Portugal (CR 204) in the men's doubles despite the fact that their combined rank was below Bopanna and Sharan's rank of 113.
Another correspondence revealed that AITA pleaded with ITF to consider Bopanna and Sharan's feat of the 2018 Asian Games for an entry.
The ITF, though, back in 2018, had announced that only the singles winners would be given the Asian Continental quota.
AITA made public the correspondence after Bopanna tweeted a video of a call-recording in which Dhupar was heard saying the ITF had accepted Bopanna and Sharan's entry in the men's doubles.
Dhupar was heard telling Bopanna to "keep his fingers crossed, maybe we get good news (of qualification) tomorrow." When specifically asked by Bopanna if his and Sharan's entry has been accepted, Dhupar replied in an affirmative.
Bopanna's contention was that why the AITA gave him false hopes of qualification.
"This act of recording a call and making it public will not be accepted. The matter will be looked into by AITA's managing committee and the ethics committee," Dhupar told PTI.
"The two committees will decide if a disciplinary action is required against Bopanna." Dhupar said the "unfortunate" episode may change the way the federation deals with the players.
"I am afraid that it is a possibility we will interact with the players only through e-mails, so that everything is crystal clear. They can't go on recording calls and making it public.
"I will not be surprised if other sports federation also take note of what Bopanna did and start communicate with their players in a different way," he said.
Asked if Bopanna would be considered for selection in India's Davis Cup team, Dhupar refused to comment.
"I can't say what will happen but if an action is recommended against him, his name will not be given to the selection committee for consideration." The selection committee is usually given 15 names after checking availability of the players to pick a five-man squad.
India next take on Finland in an away tie in September.
The controversy began when it to came light that AITA said it has withdrawn Sharan and has paired Bopanna with Sumit Nagal so that India can have a better chance to qualify for the men's doubles.
Also read: AITA says why did Bopanna not qualify on his own after player accuses it of misleading on nomination
The ITF cited rules to say that a change was not possible and that even if India were to pair Bopanna with Nagal, the new pairing would not qualify.
The AITA though remained optimistic that more withdrawals may push the Indian team in the competition. Dhupar said they even had asked for a wild card for Leander Paes so that the legendry player could get a record eighth appearances at the Olympic Games.
"We wanted that Leander gets this unprecedented feat but ITF told us that there were no wild cards this time. We fought for Bopanna and Sharan also but unfortunately they could not get in. It was not our fault that they could not qualify due to their rankings," he said.
In the release, AITA also did not appreciate Sania saying that a medal chance in the mixed team has been sacrificed.
"Even the comments of Sania Mirza are most inappropriate, because there was no possibility of her being able to partner Rohan in the Mixed Doubles event till he qualified.
"Ranking of Rohan with Divij or Sumit Nagal were not good enough for qualification. So how did we we lose an opportunity to win medals either in men’s doubles or mixed doubles.
"This tweets and statements of Mr. Bopanna are condemned unequivocally by the AITA," the statement read.
News source: PTI
AITA Secretary General Anil Dhupar rues Bopanna and Mirza comments on social media, calls it inappropriate and misleading
With the Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, controversy surrounding veteran Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna and AITA continues over the Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualification. Taking to Twitter, Bopanna accused the Indian body of misleading him, resulting in a public exchange between the two parties.
In an exclusive interaction with SPOGO, the Hon’ Secretary General of AITA Mr. Anil Dhupar clarified the controversy that has made waves on social media and condemned the tweets by Indian senior tennis players Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza.
Full statement below:
“These tweets by Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza are most inappropriate and misleading. They are without facts, in fact I’m shocked that they don’t know the basic knowledge about the guidelines regarding the ITF rules about getting entry into the Olympics. I don’t understand Rohan and Sania’s frustration and they are most unwarranted. To make things clear, it’s up to the players who get good ranking who get into the qualifying of the Olympics. The Federation does not have a wild card to make our own kids enter into the Olympic qualifying.”
“Till 16th of July, Divij (Sharan) and Rohan (Bopanna), who are our best doubles players, were on the waiting list. All of a sudden, we received the good news from ITF on the 16th of July that Sumit Nagal has qualified to play singles. Anybody in the tennis fraternity who understands the sport knows that when a doubles player participates in the Olympics, they are also entitled to play the mixed doubles, the entry is not separate. We were very happy that we will be able to get doubles entry now with the singles entry of Sumit Nagal as the IOC has already mentioned in their rules that singles players will have priority over doubles players. Everyone is aware of this, including Mr. Rohan Bopanna”
“Since 16th of July was a Friday, we sent a note to the ITF that since our singles player has been included, we would like to change our nomination from Rohan - Divij to Rohan Bopanna and Sumit Nagal, if the rules permit. They wrote back to us on the 16th itself that there is no provision to change the nomination unless a player is injured, illness or due to special circumstances. However, this proposal will be open for seven hours and even if the nomination is accepted, the new player will not qualify as there are two better singles players already in the pipeline, so they became number three.”
“If Mr. Rohan Bopanna does not have a better ranking and he is not getting qualification because of that, then what is he talking about? Our job is to promote tennis, send recommendations which we are doing day in and out and instead of appreciating the efforts of the Federation, there are words being used that are not appreciated at all. We at AITA condemn his (Rohan Bopanna) and Sania Mirza’s statements. Sania doesn’t know if there is no men’s double entry, how does one win the medal? We feel proud that she is the only Indian lady to feature in the Olympics for the fourth time, but she is supporting a cause that she’s well aware of, despite that she is still writing things for reasons I don’t know.”
“If a men’s doubles team is not entered into the Olympics qualifying, no mixed doubles can be played. Everyone is aware of this, including Sania (Mirza) so why is she saying that we lost an opportunity to win a medal? No you have not lost, because losing is when we are not able to send the team. It is the ITF rules and it’s a sad thing for Indians as tennis players who have been supported by TOPS, who have been funding Indian players are unable to qualify. It’s bad luck.”
“Making such comments will not help the tennis fraternity or the sport at all. The fact is that we tried our best, despite the lack of time. The good news is, Sumit Nagal is playing singles and we applied for accreditation, invitation and other formalities for him on Saturday which needs to be done because of COVID. We only had Saturday and Monday where his application needed to be approved and I’m thankful to the Indian Olympic Association, the Deputy Chief Dr Prem Verma who worked very hard on Saturday evening and Monday to get Nagal his accreditation and invitation and he is flying to Tokyo today (20th July).”
“Through good teamwork we have managed to secure his entry in 24 hours, so allegations and words are only showing their frustration, we are all feeling bad that India is not playing doubles. For senior players to speak out, tweeting, retweeting, deleting and recording is not showing maturity. Nobody in the world can record without their consent, it’s against the law. Stop all these things Mr. Rohan Bopanna, we all feel proud of your achievements, you still have the age to accomplish more things and we can do that together.”
Also read: The Golden Slam Awaits Novak Djokovic at the Tokyo Olympics
AITA says why did Bopanna not qualify on his own after player accuses it of misleading on nomination
New Delhi, Jul 19 (Tennis news) Doubles player Rohan Bopanna, who failed to make the cut for the Tokyo Olympics along with Divij Sharan because of their low combined rank, on Monday accused AITA of misleading everyone by claiming it had changed the combination by pairing him with Sumit Nagal for a shot at qualification.
The All India Tennis Association (AITA) hit back at Bopanna by saying that it only tried to help him since he could not qualify on his own.
The AITA had announced the nomination of Bopanna and Sharan for the men's doubles event of the Tokyo Games.
However, Bopanna (38) and Sharan (75), with a low combined rank of 113 missed out on qualification. According to the International Tennis Federation (ITF), a few days before the July 16 deadline, they were the fifth alternate.
But, after Nagal made the cut for the men's singles on July 16 following large-scale withdrawals, AITA saw hope in getting a men's doubles team's entry since singles players were being given the priority to fill the doubles draws.
The AITA announced that it had changed the combination by pairing Bopanna with Nagal.
Also read: Tennis player Nagal makes singles cut for Tokyo Olympics; AITA pairs him with Bopanna, withdraws Sharan
"ITF has never accepted an entry for Sumit Nagal & myself. ITF was clear that no changes were allowed after the nomination deadline (22nd June) unless Injury/Illness. AITA has mislead the players, government, media and everyone else by stating we still have a chance," Bopanna tweeted.
AITA secretary general Anil Dhupar said they reached out to the ITF for changing the nomination.
"We wrote to the ITF that we want to change the nomination and now want to pair Bopanna with Nagal, so please advise us how to go forward. While they said changing the nomination was possible only in case of injury and illness and also under special circumstances, they said they would keep us posted even as only seven hours are left for deadline to expire," Dhupar told PTI.
"So, where is the question of misleading anyone. How are we supposed to gain by it? The fact is that Bopanna's ranking was not good enough for qualification. We only tried to help him so that he could compete in the Games. Why he did not qualify on his own?" Reacting to Bopanna's tweet, Sania Mirza wrote, "Whaaattt??? If this is true then it's absolutely ridiculous and shameful..by this it also means that we have sacrificed a very good shot at a medal in the mixed doubles if you and I would have played as planned. We were both told that you and Sumit's names have been given." However, the question of missing out on a shot at medal in the mixed doubles does not arise since Bopanna could not qualify for the men's doubles.
Only those players can play the mixed event who are are already part of the singles or doubles draw.
The tennis competition opens on July 24.
News source: PTI
Tennis player Nagal makes singles cut for Tokyo Olympics; AITA pairs him with Bopanna, withdraws Sharan
New Delhi, Jul 16 (Tennis news) Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal on Friday made the cut for the men's singles event of the Tokyo Olympics as large-scale withdrawals pushed him inside the qualification mark.
The All India Tennis Association (AITA) promptly paired him with Rohan Bopanna for the men's doubles competition by withdrawing Divij Sharan's nomination.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) communicated to the AITA that Nagal was eligible for men's singles, hours before the deadline for entries expires.
Nagal was ranked 144 on June 14, when ATP rankings were to be considered for direct entries.
Till Thursday, the cut-off was in the range of 130 as Yuki Bhambri, with his protected ranking of 127, made the cut.
However, since he recently underwent a procedure on his right knee in the US, he has made himself unavailable and confirmed it to the PTI.
The stringent protocols under which the Games are being held and the fear of contracting the coronavirus has pushed many to withdraw, forcing the authorities to keep lowering the cut-off mark.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran was ranked 148 on June 14 and it remains to be seen if he also makes the cut by the time the deadline ends at 8:30pm IST.
"ITF has confirmed Nagal's entry for singles. We spoke to him and he accepted his entry. We have approached IOA and requested to arrange for his accreditation," Anil Dhupar, AITA's secretary general, told said.
Since the ITF is giving priority to singles players for filling up the men's doubles draw, AITA sniffed a chance to get a spot by fielding Nagal with Bopanna, who was earlier nominated with Divij Sharan.
Bopanna and Sharan, with a combined rank of 113, till Friday morning formed the fourth alternate team.
"We have withdrawn Divij Sharan's nomination and sent a new team to ITF. Let' see if Bopanna and Nagal can enter," Dhupar added.
It is imperative that Bopanna makes the cut for the men's doubles because it is highly unlikely that Nagal and Sania Mirza would make it to the mixed doubles event, which is a 16-team affair.
Also read: Tennis player Nagal now eligible for Tokyo singles draw, Yuki misses out due to injury
The ITF, as of now, has not confirmed if Bopanna and Nagal can enter the men's doubles.
"We are not in a position to speculate on doubles scenarios. Gunneswaran is still a few places below the cut-off," an ITF official told PTI.
As of now only Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina are certain to compete in the women's doubles draw. Sania used her protected rank of nine to enter with Ankita.
All top-10 players get direct entry and have the privilege to choose a partner of their choice, who is ranked inside top-300.
News source: PTI
Tennis player Nagal now eligible for Tokyo singles draw, Yuki misses out due to injury
New Delhi, Jul 16 (Tennis news) Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal is now eligible to compete in the men's singles event at the Tokyo Olympics, the world governing body ITF has communicated to the AITA, a source in the national tennis body said on Friday.
Nagal was ranked 144 on June 14, when ATP rankings were to be considered for direct entries.
Another specialist singles player Prajnesh Gunneswaran was ranked 148 and it remains to be seen if he also makes the cut as the deadline for accepting tennis entries is closing in a few hours from now.
The stringent protocols under which the Games are being held and the fear of contracting coronavirus has forced many withdrawals that kept lowering the cut-off mark.
"We have received a mail from the ITF that Sumit is now eligible. They have asked for his details. We have started the process of getting him in," an AITA official told PTI.
Yuki Bhambri, with his Protected Ranking of 127, also made the cut but since he recently underwent a procedure on his right knee in the US, he has made himself unavailable.
Also read: Touching 40s, India's Table Tennis great Sharath Kamal hits peak ahead of Tokyo Olympics
"I won't be playing," Bhambri told PTI in a terse message.
If Nagal can make it to Tokyo by completing all the required formalities, it remains to be seen if he makes the doubles draw with Rohan Bopanna, who could not enter with Divij Sharan till now.
Bopanna and Sharan's combined rank is 113 and they were still fifth alternate recently.
ITF is giving priority to the singles players to fill the doubles draw.
Nagal's entry would also mean that India can now have a team in the mixed doubles draw as well.
As of now only Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina are certain to compete in the women's doubles draw. Sania used her protected rank of nine to enter with Ankita.
All top-10 players get direct entry and have the privilege to choose a partner of their choice, who is ranked inside top-300.
News source: PTI
Bopanna-Mirza pair wins historic all-Indian Wimbledon match
London, Jul 2 (Sports news) The experienced pair of Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza defeated the brand new combination of Ramkaumar Ramanathan and Ankita Raina 6-2 7-6 (5) in the historic all-Indian mixed doubles first round match at the Wimbledon here on Friday.
It was the first time in open era that two Indian teams competed against each other at a Grand Slam tournament.
The contest finally brought a Grand Slam debut for Ramkumar, who has made 21 attempts to qualify for the singles main draw of a tennis major.
While the first set ended quickly in favour of the veterans, Ramkumar and Raina presented a good fight in the second set, which even they led for a brief period with a break of serve.
Also read: India at Wimbledon: Ankita Raina and partner bow out in first round of women's doubles
Bopanna was clearly the best player on the court with his powerful serve and solid ground strokes from the baseline as well as the ability to execute a superior net game.
On expected lines, Ramkumar served big while Raina gave her all after growing in confidence.
Mirza's serve is still not at its best and would improve as she plays more matches.
Mirza has moved has also moved to women's doubles second round with Bethanie Mattek-Sands while Raina and her American partner Lauren Davis lost in straight sets to the US pair of Asia Muhammad and Jessica Pegula on Thursday night.
The 14th seeds disposed off the challenge from the Raina-Davis pair 6-3 6-2 in 70 minutes.
Bopanna and Divij Sharan are already out, having lost their men's doubles opening round match.
News sourece: PTI
India at Wimbledon: Ankita Raina and partner bow out in first round of women's doubles
London, Jul 2 (Sports news) Ankita Raina's maiden appearance in Wimbledon's main draw ended in disappointment as the Indian and her American partner Lauren Davis lost in straight sets to the US pair of Asia Muhammad and Jessica Pegula.
The 14th seeds disposed off the challenge from the Raina-Davis pair beating them 6-3 6-2 in 70 minutes during a late evening match on Court No 11.
Ankita, however, will be pairing with compatriot Ramkumar Ramanathan in the mixed doubles event where they would meet their country's seasoned pair of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna.
Also read: Rohan Bopanna, Divij Sharan miss cut for tennis men's doubles event at Tokyo Games
Sania and her American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands are through to the second round of women's doubles while Bopanna and Divij Sharan are already out, having lost their men's doubles opening round encounter.
News source: PTI
Rohan Bopanna, Divij Sharan miss cut for tennis men's doubles event at Tokyo Games
New Delhi, Jun 30 (Tennis news) In a setback to India's medal chances in the tennis event of Tokyo Olympics, Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan have missed the cut for men's doubles, which also rules out the country's presence in the mixed team competition, its best chance for a podium finish.
It was expected that with a low combined ranking of 113, Bopanna (38) and left-handed Sharan's (75) entry would depend only on large scale withdrawals.
"The ITF has confirmed that Bopanna and Divij could not be entered as a team in the men's doubles team. However, things might change till July 16 (if there are more withdrawals)," an AITA source told PTI.
When All India Tennis Association (AITA) Secretary General Anil Dhupar was contacted, he said he will be able to give a clear picture only when he has the complete entry list in his hands.
Despite some withdrawals, the cut for 22 teams out of 24 direct acceptances was as high as in mid-60s, according to sources but the final cut-off could not be confirmed.
Even if there are more withdrawals, it will be extremely difficult for India to have a team in men's doubles.
The priority would first be given to singles ranked players, then the singles-doubles combination and then the doubles-doubles ranking combination.
Since many top players are not part of the singles draw, the lower-ranked players, who consistently compete in doubles also, would not miss the chance to play two events at the Olympics.
Each player is allowed to be in two events.
As per rules, only those players can be a part of the mixed team event who are already in one of the main draws (either singles our doubles).
In India's case, it was imperative for Bopanna to be in men's doubles so that he can be paired with Sania Mirza, who is set to compete in her fourth Olympics with Ankita Raina in the women's doubles event.
Sania and Rohan came close to winning a bronze in 2016 but they lost the bronze play-off to Czech Republic's Radek Stepanek and Lucie Hradecka in straight sets.
The limited number of opportunities in terms of tournaments due to the COVID-19 lockdown and travel restrictions made it tough for both Bopanna and Sharan to improve their rankings.
Bopanna was ranked 38th at the start of the year while Sharan's ranking only got worse after starting at number 63.
India have never missed out on fielding a men's doubles team at the Olympics ever since a young Leander Paes and Ramesh Krishnan competed at the 1992 Games in Barcelona.
In editions after that, Paes was there mostly with Mahesh Bhupathi. In 2016 Paes and Bopanna competed and lost in the first round. News source: PTI
AITA nominates Ankita, Prajnesh for Arjuna; Balram, Piperno for Dhyanchand
In Sports news, New Delhi, Jun 29 Asian Games bronze medallists Ankita Raina and Prajnesh Gunneswaran have been nominated for the prestigious Arjuna award by the national tennis federation, which has also sent names of Balram Singh and Enrico Piperno for the Dhyanchand honour.
Ankita and Prajnesh both won singles bronze medals at the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang.
Ankita is now country's best-ranked singles (182) and doubles (95) player and is set to make his Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games next month.
"This year we have nominated Ankita and Prajnesh for Arjuna while the names of very respected Balram sir and Enrico Piperno have been sent for life time achievement honour, Dhyanchand," an All Indian Tennis Association (AITA) official told PTI.
The 28-year-old Ankita has been India's key player in the Billie Jean King Cup team for the last three years.
She was nominated for the 'Arjuna' last year also but Asian Games gold medallist Divij Sharan succeeded in bagging the award.
Prajnesh is one of the most mature players in the current Indian generation. Had he not lost five crucial years to knee stress fractures, his career would have been an altogether different story.
The 31-year-old left-hander from Chennai, ranked 148 on the ATP charts, has played five Davis Cup ties for the country.
In the Lifetime achievement category, Balram Singh, who has a 50 year-long association with the Indian tennis, will vie for the honour along with Piperno, who coached the Davis Cup team between 1991-2001 for 27 consecutive ties.
The 73-year-old Balram, one of those extremely shy and non-controversial figures in Indian tennis, coached the Davis Cup teams in 1989 (South Korea) and 1990 (Japan).
He himself reached the junior Wimbledon and junior US Open quarterfinals in 1966.
That he has always preferred to stay away from the limelight and work in the background is evident from the fact that he has applied for an award for the first time.
He also established Balram Singh Trust to support talented junior players. Balram is a member of the senior selection committee and also headed it in the past.
His children -- Ashutosh Singh and Shalini Thakur -- have also played tennis at a good level. While Ashutosh won the Fenesta Nationals and was also a reserve player in the Davis Cup side, Shalini has played the Fed Cup.
The 59-year-old Piperno also has an impressive CV as he himself is an 1982 Asian Games silver medallist was coach of India's first Grand Slam winner Mahesh Bhupathi from 1997 to 2003 and also travelled for with legendary Leander Paes.
He was also coach of Indian Fed Cup team between 2000 and 2012 and the national women team at the Asian Games in in Busan (2002), Doha (2006) and Guangzhou (2010).
Last year former Davis Cup coach Nandan bal had won the Dhyanchand award. News Source: PTI
AITA requests ITF to consider Ankita Raina’s Asian Games bronze for Olympic entry
New Delhi, Jun 26 The national tennis federation has requested the ITF to consider Ankita Raina's bronze-medal winning performance at the 2018 Asian Games for a place in the women's singles draw of the Tokyo Olympics since the gold and silver medallists from China are eligible for a direct entry due to their higher ranks.
Ankita had won a bronze at the 2018 Asian Games, where the winner was assured of a Continental qualification place in the women's singles draw at the Tokyo Olympics.
Wang Qiang had won the gold while her Chinese compatriot Zhang Shuai took silver at the Games held in Jakarta and Palembang.
As per the June 14 WTA rankings, both Zhang (world number 36) Shuai (world number 38) are eligible for direct entry.
The ITF rules for the eligibility criteria state that athletes who achieve both a Continental Games qualification place and subsequently a Direct Acceptance ranking, will qualify using the Continental Qualification quota place.
As per the ITF rules, if the winner does not accept the quota or becomes ineligible for it, the Continental place can be given to the silver medallist and so on.
However, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) has written to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) that Ankita be considered for an entry so that the country can have representation at the Games in the singles event. "We wrote to them about Ankita's entry through the Continental route and they said they will let us know," a senior AITA official told PTI.
"It makes sense that the Continental place is given to the next best performer if gold and silver medal winners can make it to the draw basis their higher rank." Ankita was ranked 181 on June 14 when the rankings were considered for direct entries.
With such a low rank even mass withdrawal won't help in the draw of 64.
Ankita, though, will make her Olympic debut in Tokyo in the women's doubles after being picked as partner by Sania Mirza, who was assured of direct entry due to her top-10 rank.
Sania has used her protected ranking (9) to enter the Olympics.
Meanwhile, reliable sources have said India will not be able to have representation in the men's singles since the cut fell at 105 and India's best players -- Sumit Nagal (144) and Prajnesh Gunneswaran (148) are not even close to the mark.
It remains to be seen if Rohan Bopanna (38) and Divij Sharan (75) will get entry in the men's doubles. Their combined rank of 113 as of June 14 means that their qualification would depend on withdrawal of teams from other nations.
Bopanna and Sharan had won the gold at the Asian Games but the quota was kept only for the singles winners.
If India won't be able to field a team in the men's doubles, then the country will also go unrepresented in the mixed doubles event since the 16-team competition will have players only from main draws of other events. News source PTI
Noventi Open: Indian tennis players Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan ousted after quarterfinal loss
Halle (Germany), Jun 18 India's Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan were knocked out of the Noventi Open men's doubles event after suffering a straight-set quarterfinal loss here.
The Indian pair went down 3-6 6-7 to the sixth-seeded Belgian duo of Sander Gille and Joran Vilegen, failing to advance to the semifinals of the event on Thursday.
Bopanna and Sharan, who are waiting to know if they will make the cut at the Tokyo Olympics as a team, had got the better of second seeds Lukasz Kubot and Edouard Roger Vasselin in the second round of the Euro 14,55,925 tournament that marked the beginning of the grass-court season.
While the 41-year-old Bopanna is ranked 38th, the left-handed Sharan is placed as low as 75th for a combined rank of 113th on June 14, the cut off date for rankings to be considered for entries at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Indian pair needs a lot of withdrawals from other nations to make the cut due to its low combined ranking. News source PTI
India’s Rohan Bopanna, Divij Sharan knock out second seeds at Halle
Halle (Germany), Jun 16 India's Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan knocked out second seeds Lukasz Kubot and Edouard Roger Vasselin to move to the quarterfinals of the Noventi Open, here on Wednesday.
Bopanna and Sharan, who are waiting to know if they will make the cut at the Tokyo Games as a team, beat the Polish-French combination 7-6(11) 6-4 in the second round of the Euro 1455925 tournament that marked the beginning of the grass court season.
Bopanna (38) and Sharan (75) ended up with a combined rank of 113 on June 14, the cut off date for rankings to be considered for entries at the Tokyo Games.
The low combined rank means that the Indian pair needs a lot of withdrawals or pull outs from other nations to make the cut. News source PTI
India's chances to field men's doubles team at Tokyo Olympics to depend on entries from other nations
New Delhi, Jun 14 India will have to wait to know if a men's doubles team from the country will compete at the Tokyo Olympics since Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan's qualification, who have a low combined ranking of 113, would depend on number of entries from other nations.
The top-10 players have the privilege to select a partner of their choice as per the ITF rules but Bopanna is ranked 38 and left-handed Sharan is placed as low as 75 after the fresh rankings were issued on Monday following the conclusion of the French Open.
Bopanna's quarterfinal appearance helped him gain two places while Sharan's first round exit resulted in him losing one place. A total of 32 teams each will feature in the men's and women's doubles draw.
Both Bopanna and Sharan are unsure of their participation.
"Completely alien as it all depends which players and teams are going . Impossible to calculate like other events," Bopanna told PTI when asked about their chances.
According to International Tennis Federation (ITF) qualification system, rankings of June 14 will be considered for entries and each nation is limited to a maximum of six men and six women, with a maximum of four singles players and two doubles teams for both genders.
The ITF will announce on July 5 which players have made it to the draws and Bopanna and Sharan will get an idea by the end of June to know their fate.
If the ITF receives fewer entries due to the concerns around pandemic, Bopanna and Sharan's chances will improve.
As of now, only Sania Mirza is assured of a place in the women's doubles as she will use her protected ranking to enter the Games, She was ranked nine before she took maternity leave and has decided to compete with Ankita Raina.
There is a possibility that Ankita may enter the women's singles draw, getting one of the six Continental places.
The two finalists at the Asian Games were to be give Tokyo Olympics places but since China's singles champion Wang Qiang (38) and runner-up Zhang Shuai (36) may get direct entry courtesy their high ranks, bronze medallist Ankita could be given the Continental place. For 16-team mixed doubles event, on-site entries will be accepted on July 27.
The tennis event will start on July 24 and will culminate on August 1. News source PTI
Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna crashes out of French Open, India's campaign ends
Paris, Jun 7 India's campaign in the French Open came to an end as Rohan Bopanna and his Croatian partner Franko Skugor lost their men's doubles quarterfinal here on Monday.
The 41-year-old Bopanna and Skugos went down 5-7 3-6 to the Spanish duo of Pablo Andujar and Pedro Martinez in a match that lasted one hour and 17 minutes.
The unseeded Indo-Croat pairing had received a walkover in the pre-quarters on Sunday against Netherlands' Matwe Middelkoop and Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador.
Last week, Divij Sharan and Ankita Raina had lost their opening round matches of men's and women's doubles events respectively In the singles events, Sumit Nagal, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Guneswaran and Ankita had failed to enter the main draw. New source PTI
Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna and Croatian Franko Skugor progress to 3rd round at French Open
Paris, Jun 3 Veteran Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna and his Croatian partner Franko Skugor advanced to the pre-quarterfinals of the French Open with a straight set win over Americans Frances Tiafo and Nicholas Monroe here on Thursday.
The unseeded Bopanna and Skugor prevailed over their rivals 6-4 7-5 in the second round match that lasted one hour and 20 minutes.
The 41-year-old Bopanna, ranked 40 in the world, is not defending any points this year at the Roland Garros.
He needs to earn points since the this is his last chance to improve his ranking. The rankings on June 10 will be considered for entry into the Tokyo Olympics.
Divij Sharan, though, lost his chance by losing his first round match.
The combined rankings of Bopanna and Sharan will be taken into account for entries. A low ranking will scuttle their chances.
As of now only Sania Mirza is assured of a place in the women's doubles draw. She will most likely pair with Ankita Raina. New source PTI
Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal also fails to make French Open main draw cut
Paris, May 27 India's top player Sumit Nagal could not make a hat-trick of Grand Slam main draw appearances following a straight-set defeat in the second round of the French Open Qualifying event here.
The Haryana youngster crashed out of the Clay Court major with a 3-6 3-6 loss to Alejandro Tabilo from Chile, last night.
In the engrossing contest that lasted one-and-a-half-hours, Nagal could break the serve of his rival, ranked 23 places below him at 146, only twice while he himself dropped his serve five times.
With the defeat of the 23-year-old from Jhajjar, India's challenge has ended in the Qualifiers.
Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Guneswaran and Ankita Raina have already exited from the tournament.
Now India will be represented through Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan in the men's doubles main draw.
It is crucial for both of them to earn ranking points by going deep in the draw since the official rankings of June 10 will decide which players make the cut for the Tokyo Olympics.
Sania Mirza has decided not to compete in this tournament as she wanted to use her 'special ranking' to enter the Wimbledon Championships. New source PTI