Bopanna dedicates gold to Kodagu flood victims

Bopanna dedicates gold to Kodagu flood victims

Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan of India celebrate after winning the Asian Games doubles gold against Aleksandr Bublik and Denis Yevseyev of Kazakhstan.

Rohan Bopanna fought a wave of emotions as the Indian flag went up to the tune of the National anthem in the background. Even as he and Divij Sharan soaked in the maiden Asian Games gold triumph, his thoughts flew to home district Kodagu, which has been ravaged by floods. The 38-year-old dedicated his medal to the flood victims.

“I am really happy we could deliver a gold for India. I think more than me winning the gold medal it is sending a big, positive message from Palembang to Coorg. Everyday I have been talking to my parents, friends, seen so many people going through such hard times.

“I dedicate this medal to them, to all those who are constantly giving support. That’s why I was flooded with emotions when the national anthem was playing,” Bopanna told DH.

Bopanna was happy the way he and Divij stuck through the tough quarterfinal and semifinal matches before prevailing over Kazakhstan’s Aleksandr Bublik and Denis Yevseyev in the final.

“The way Divij has been playing this entire year, we were confident. He is a very positive person on the court. But having said that with the format of no ad scoring and super-tie breaks you never know. We played a couple of teams which you play regularly on Challengers and a few on ATP circuit. It can always get tricky. But I am really glad that we just focused on one match, and one particular opponent,” he said.

Divij, who won his second Asian Games medal, was equally thrilled. “It was very special to win, I have never experienced something like this. I have been putting in a lot of hard work and this year has been really good for me.”

Speaking on their chemistry, the 32-year-old Delhi boy said: “Rohan and I have known each other for a long time, we have both been employed at Indian Oil and have practised quite a lot together. We came through tough matches to the final which gave us the confidence and we settled into each other’s style. In the final we played the deuce points well.”

New doubles pair?

While none would comment on the last-minute pull out of Leander Paes, the two were eager to be paired up together for Davis Cup. “If we are asked to play together then nothing like it. We will surely play whenever we get the opportunity, we have combined well and done well together. So why not? I don’t see a reason why we would not play,” Bopanna admitted.

The next stop for them is the US Open as the two rushed to the airport shortly after the victory ceremony. Until then they can bask under the gleam of a hard-earned gold.