Ramkumar Ramanathan and Saketh Myneni settled for the men’s doubles silver medal at the Asian Games after being edged by Hsu Yu-Hsiou and Jason Jung from Chinese Taipei in straight sets in the final, here on Friday. The Taipei team was unseeded but both Hsu (182) and Jung (231) were better-ranked singles players and it showed in their ground strokes and the way they went about their business in a 6-4 6-4 victory against the second-seeded Indians in the title clash.
Hsu was solid from the baseline with his strong serve while Jung complimented him with his lightning fast hands at the net.
It is Ramkumar’s first Asian Games medal and third for Myneni, who had won a men’s doubles silver with Sanam Singh and a gold with Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles in the 2014 Incheon edition.
This is also the first tennis medal from this edition. In Indonesia in 2018, India had won three medals but they will return with only two from Hangzhou.
Rohan Bopanna and Rutuja Bhosale are assured of a medal after reaching the mixed doubles semifinals while the country’s players have been ousted from other events.
In the men’s doubles final, no team lost a point in the first three games. It was only when Jung double-faulted in the fourth game that a team scored a point on the rival’s serve.
It was 2-2 with all four players holding their serves as some high-quality serving was on display.
Ramkumar’s serve was under pressure when Hsu found a stunning forehand winner to go up 30-0. It was 30-all when Jung hit a service return winner to earn the first breakpoint of the match.
The Taipei team got the break with Jung finding a volley winner. Hsu consolidated the break for a 4-2 lead as he hit deep returns from the baseline and the Indians committed a few unforced errors.
Jung struggled a bit with his first serve but his partner was terrific at the net.
Coming out to serve for staying in the set, Ramkumar began with a double fault but made up for that with a couple of aces.
The Taipiei team closed the set in their favour with Hsu maintaining his serving rhythm.
In the second set too, it was Ramkumar’s serve that came under pressure. At 15-30 in the third game, he served a double fault to hand the Taipei team two break chances but saved both to hold.
Ramkumar’s forehand return sailed over the baseline when Myneni served at 15-all in the ninth game and the following forehand service return winner from Hsu gave the Taipei players two break chances.
They saved the first but Jung smashed a backhand volley winner on a feeble Myenei return to grab the chance.
Ramkumar’s wide forehand gave three match points to the Taipei team which triumphed when Myneni’s backhand flew over the baseline.