Veteran Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan overpowered spirited Japanese duo of Kaito Uesugi and Sho Shimabukoro 4-6, 6-3 (10-8) to storm into the finals of the Men''s doubles in the Tennis competition of Asian Games at Palembang, thus ensuring India at least a silver.
Meanwhile, Ankita Raina, who despite losing 4-6, 6-7 (6) to world number 34 Zhang Shuai in the semi- final, became the second Indian woman to claim a medal, - bronze- in the Individual event on Thursday.
It was Sania Mirza who had won a silver in 2006 and a bronze in 2010. Shuai and Ankita had problem with their serve as there were five breaks in the opening set, with Zhang winning three of those in the first.
The Indian ranked 155 spots below Zhang in the world rankings, put up a good fight as she broke her higher ranked rival in the set. However, Zhang retaliated and broke back immediately and then held her serve to draw level. After that the Chinese held her a service to make it 3-3.
Zhang then broke Ankita in the ninth game to go up 5-4 . She held serve to take the first set in 54 minutes.
The second set was a roller coaster. The higher ranked Chinese broke Ankita in the first but the Indian broke right back.The Chinese again broke Ankita and then held for 3-1.
However, the Indian came back strongly to win the next three games to lead 4-3 but after that lost her concentration. Zhang managed a service hold.
In the tiebreak, Zhang had two match points at 6-4, but Raina saved both, including one with a running forehand scoop. However, a couple of netted backhands in succession gave Zhang another match point and then the win.
Ankita will also be seen in action in the mixed doubles quarterfinals with Rohan Bopanna.
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