Bopanna-Divij set to miss Tokyo cut

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Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan look set to miss the cut for men’s doubles at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. This could potentially be the first time India will not have a men’s doubles team since the Leander Paes-Ramesh Krishnan duo reached the quarterfinals at Barcelona 1992.

With a low combined ranking of 113, Bopanna (38) and Divij’s (75) entry had to depend on a series of withdrawals. Despite some withdrawals, the cut for 22 teams out of 24 direct acceptances is said to be as high as mid-60s, according to sources. The final cut-off could not be confirmed.

Even if there are more withdrawals, it will be extremely difficult. The possibility of many lower-ranked singles players — who have benefitted from a series of high-profile singles pull outs — choosing to enter doubles as well is high, making Bopanna’s and Divij’s entry tough.

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Mixed doubles blow

This now greatly diminishes the country’s possibility of fielding a mixed doubles team, for each of the mixed doubles players should mandatorily feature in their respective doubles draws. Sania will be playing in the women’s doubles competition in Tokyo alongside Ankita Raina, even as Bopanna’s participation looks increasingly unlikely.

Nonetheless, as preparation, Sania and Bopanna have teamed up for mixed doubles at the ongoing Wimbledon championships, where they will take on the Hungarian duo of Timea Babos and Marton Fucsovics in the opening round. The Indian duo lost the mixed doubles bronze medal playoff at Rio 2016.

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