Our opponents were more in sync with each other


Interview/ Rohan Bopanna

How has been your experience at Rio? Did you miss Saket Myneni?

The atmosphere here is phenomenal and one which I am grateful to be experiencing in my career. The aim was to come here and give my best, and I am still focused on doing that. I do not believe in looking back, as there is still much to look forward to.

How do you look back on the match with Leander Paes? Where did the opponents capitalise?

We unfortunately did not have the best preparation before our match and that was a vital factor in the outcome. Our opponents had the advantage of being more in sync with each other. In doubles matches, that is a key ingredient for success.

How do you rate the strength of the men’s doubles field in Rio? Is it comparable to a Grand Slam event?

It is definitely a strong bunch of talent on display in the doubles field. These are the best tennis players of their countries that are participating, so the quality is definitely there to compete with the slams. The only difference is that the partners might not be as familiar with each other’s games as with their respective partners on the tour.

Your comments on the hard court surface for the games.

It does take a little getting used to in order to get settled in and play your best. I made the most of the opportunity to come in a few days before and get in a few sessions on the surface to better acclimatise.

How are you training for the next step at the Games—the mixed doubles? What kind of practice, and with what preparation against the upcoming opponents?

I am keeping as focused as I can on the game, and the arrangement here allows us to do so. Keeping fit and sharp is vital at the temperatures we are playing in, and we have been regularly training with this in mind. We do spend quite a bit of time practising with each other on the court and aim to get as much in sync as possible.

How well is the partnership with Sania Mirza shaping up?

I have known and played with Sania for a long time now. What she has achieved in her career is phenomenal and I am glad to be able to represent the country with her as my partner. In this sort of an atmosphere and situation, the more time you spend with a person, the better it can make the understanding on court. Sania and I have been good friends off the court for many years, and that helps in stitching together a strong partnership.

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