In recent news, Indian tennis players Rohan Bopanna and Rutuja Bhoosale won gold in the mixed doubles final in tennis at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, on September 30. The pair defeated China's Tsung-hao Huang and Liang En-shuo 2-6, 6-3, 10-4 in the final at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Centre.
The pair's victory in the mixed doubles division of tennis marks the second medal won by India in tennis, following a silver medal in the men's doubles event, according to the official website of the Olympics.
Who is Rutuja Bhoosale?
Rutuja Sampatrao Bhoosale is a female professional tennis player from Pune. An alumni of Texas A&M University, during her college years, she "became Texas A&M’s first doubles All-American along with senior partner Rachel Pierson after receiving No. 5-8 seed at the 2017 NCAA Doubles Championship," with "the pair set a school record for highest all-time doubles ranking with a No. 4," according to the official website of Texas A&M University's Collegiate Sports division.
Bopanna-Bhoosale at Asian Games 2023
The duo's appearance at the finals on September 30 marked Bhoosale's maiden tennis final. In the beginning, despite starting strong, the pair struggled against China's Tsung-hao Huang and Liang En-shuo, with the Chinese duo winning the first set 6-2.
Realising their strategy needed to change, the duo switched things up, changing sides in the next set. According to the official website of the Olympics, both Bopanna and Bhoosale played well in the second set, "and there was nothing separating both teams in the opening seven games. The Indian pair, however, levelled up with a decisive break in the eighth game and took the set 6-3 to induce a match tie break."
In the decider for the tie, Bopanna-Bhosale were able to take advantage early on in the match and got to 6-1 quickly. Despite Tsung-hao Huang and Liang En-shuo putting up a good fight, the Indian duo continued at an amazing pace and broke the tie 10-4.
According to the official website of the Olympics, on the experience of playing with Bhoosale in the mixed doubles, Bopanna said that it was a learning experience for the duo, stating that "we had to understand each other, what our strengths are and what our weaknesses are."
"Today after we lost the first set I said, 'Let's change sides to return. We need something to change the match.'" he added.
On the finals match, Bhoosale commented, "I clearly had some nerves throughout the match, but not on the last point. I was just thinking, 'Give me my best serve right here,' and I think I took my time to serve.”
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