Rohan Bopanna wants to make the most of extra Olympic time

Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan are India’s hopefuls for Tokyo next year in the men’s doubles tennis event.

By Subhayan Dutta

Ace Indian doubles tennis player and Olympian Rohan Bopanna believes that the postponement of the Tokyo Games by a year leaves him and his compatriots with enough time to get ready for the event in 2021.

Rohan Bopanna had partnered Leander Paes in India’s Davis Cup tie against Croatia in Zagreb early March when the COVID-19 outbreak suspended all sporting events and put off the Summer Games by a year.

However, the 40-year-old Bopanna, who finally returned to training after almost three months, believes that the postponement gives athletes more time to plan and prepare.

“The 2021 Olympics is still such a long way to go, there are so many other big events in tennis that happen,” Rohan Bopanna said during a podcast with the Deccan Herald.

“But, having said that, we have enough time now to prepare and we hope that tennis starts in the next three-four months.

“We’ll have a good eight-ten months before we go into the event. I think that’s enough time for an athlete to prepare and get ready to qualify for Tokyo,” said Bopanna.

Domestic circuit to show path

With borders yet to open for international events, the tennis calendar is looking uncertain.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has postponed India’s Davis Cup and Fed Cup ties by a year and has cancelled this year's Wimbledon as well.

Rohan Bopanna  

And Rohan Bopanna believes that it will be the perfect time for the national and state federations to boost the domestic tennis tournaments in the country.

“I think it’s a good time to revive the domestic circuit,” said Rohan Bopanna but added there could be restrictions due to the virus.

“To be honest, right now few cities are OK to go out and play a sport,” he reckoned “Slowly, I think we need to understand domestically how every player can play tournaments and understand the restrictions before we start travelling outside.”