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Bopanna, Bhupathi aim to do well before Olympics


First published: January 19, 2012, 12:16 AM IST | Updated: January 19, 2012
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Bopanna, Bhupathi aim to do well before Olympics
Bopanna and Bhupathi had to fight hard for a win in the first round of the Australian Open.

Melbourne: Indian doubles tennis player Rohan Bopanna said on Wednesday that the focus will be on all the Grand Slams ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

Bopanna, who teamed up with Mahesh Bhupathi last year keeping in mind the Olympics, said the Australian Open will be the pair's first step towards Olympic glory.

Bopanna and Bhupathi, who are playing together for the first time in a Grand Slam, had to fight hard for a win in the first round against Australian opponents Matthew Ebden and Chris Guccione.

"Right, we're here in Australia. Our focus is to do well at this Slam and then take it further, all the way towards the Olympics," Bopanna told reporters after a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 win.

"Obviously winning our first match today, it was a close one, a tight one. But coming through these hard matches always helps us in longer matches and building our partnership stronger."

Bopanna, who split with erstwhile doubles partner Aisam-ul Haq Qureshi of Pakistan in November, went on to reach the semi-finals with Bhupathi at the Chennai Open earlier this month. Bopanna said playing in that tournament at home was a great preparation for the Australian Open.

"We had a good start for the season in Chennai, reaching the semi-finals. That was a good three matches before coming here for our first Grand Slam," Bopanna said.

Asked about Indian cricket team's performance Down Under, Bopanna said: "You win some, you lose some. It's always hard playing Australia here at home and they have been lethal in the bowling. Hopefully they can still stay strong and hopefully win that last Test."

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