Tennis

Divij Sharan makes early exit at Qatar Open

Sharan and doubles partner Artem Sitak suffer straight-sets loss to Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin.

By Naveen Peter ·

A day after Rohan Bopanna gave the Indian fans in Doha something to cheer, his compatriot Divij Sharan bowed out in the opening round of the doubles competition at the 2020 Qatar Open event.

Teaming up with Artem Sitak of New Zealand, the Indo-Kiwi duo lost to former champions Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin of France 6-7 (4), 2-6 with the fourth seeds in good control of the tie as they barely let their opponents sneak ahead, keeping a firm grip on the proceedings.

The French duo rode on their fine serves, winning 81% of the first serves and unleashed a total of seven aces compared to only one from Sitak.

The 2017 champions will now take on Great Britain’s Luke Bambridge and Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs.

The French pair of Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin were in fine form as they registered a straight-sets win in the first round of the 2020 Qatar Open.

The Olympic dream

Sharan, along with Bopanna, is keen on ensuring that he makes the Olympic cut this year. Speaking to the Times of India newspaper on the sidelines of the Qatar Open, Bopanna admitted that he was keen on partnering with Sharan at Tokyo 2020.

“Divij and I are trying to qualify for the Olympics as a team,” Bopanna said. “First, we have to make sure our individual rankings are high enough. 

“Whoever we are playing with on the Tour, we are trying to make sure that by the time the French Open comes - which is the time for the cut - our rankings are high enough to qualify so that we have a team representing India.”

Ankita wins

Meanwhile, at Bendigo in Australia, India’s Ankita Raina kicked-off her 2020 with a dominant 6-1, 7-5 win over Martina Di Giuseppe of Italy. 

The top-ranked Indian on the WTA circuit is participating in the W25 Canberra ITF event which has been moved to Bendigo in Victoria State due to the raging bushfires that has pulled the entire world’s attention Down Under.

Raina will take on Irina Falconi of the USA In the second round of the event on Thursday.