Ramkumar was a big let down: Zeeshan

Ramkumar was a big let down: Zeeshan

Zeeshan Ali

The Indian tennis contingent won three medals instead of the projected five but that happened due to Ramkumar Ramanathan's disappointing performance in singles and the unexpected absence of stalwart Leander Paes, said coach Zeeshan Ali.

"The target was a medal in all five events. Ram was a big disappointment in singles. Expected a lot from the second seed, he had been playing good tennis over the last six months. Disappointed that he played a wrong tactical match, doing things that he was not comfortable doing (serve and volley). There was a medal prospect right there," Ali told PTI.

India won five medals including a mixed doubles gold at Incheon four years ago. At the Jakabaring Tennis Center, medals came from men's doubles, men's singles and women's singles.

The captain and coach said India should have won two men's singles medals and one in mixed doubles.

"It was a very creditable performance from Prajnesh to win a medal but he was the fourth seed. Similarly, Ram too was expected to reach the semifinals," said Ali.

It was still a pretty decent effort from India, considering Paes had pulled-out last minute as he was unhappy with the team selection.

"To say that we didn't (miss Paes) would be incorrect. I had to work men's doubles and mixed doubles combination in no time, especially mixed. With Leander's experience, things could have been different in mixed and men's doubles," said Ali.

Sania, who is expecting, had won a mixed doubles gold and women’s doubles silver four years ago.

"It was pretty good considering the last minute pull-out, not having our number one men’s singles player (Yuki Bhambri), number one women’s doubles player (Sania Mirza) and Leander not coming. With the team that we had, we did okay."

Asked to pick the positives from the Games' campaign, Ali picked Raina's bronze winning effort in singles and the doubles gold from Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan. Raina became only the second Indian after Sania to win a women’s singles medal at Asian Games.

"It was the coming together of Rohan and Divij. They played together for the first time. I was very impressed with the way they handled themselves. There were a few ups and downs but with the experience they have, they were able to get through those tough matches in quarters and semis." 

"Going forward, I hope they can play a couple of tournaments together because their rankings are close to each other. That would help Indian tennis in Davis Cup, team events like Asian Games and Olympics."


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