It was a “pinched nerve” that cut short Rohan Bopanna’s stay in the doubles draw of Wimbledon. Bopanna and France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin had retired early in the third set in the second round of men’s doubles. “I could not lift my shoulder to serve. So, we had to stop. I did not play the mixed doubles this time,” said Bopanna, when contacted in London.

“My physio Gaurang Shukla who has been with me for three years is here. The ATP physios and doctors are here. So, I decided to stay back in London and get the treatment done. We did an ultrasound, and everything is clear. We are doing massages etc,. to ease the condition. I am told that it releases on its own,” said Bopanna.

“I watched Divij’s (Sharan) match yesterday [Monday]. He is playing great. If I recover, we are scheduled to play together next week in Sweden,” revealed Bopanna who is set to partner Divij at the Asian Games.

The thought of flying from the US to Indonesia and flying back for the US Open is quite daunting for Bopanna.

“Actually, I am skipping the Cincinnati Masters to make it in time for the Asian Games. It is a 35-hour flight from the US. It is not even in Jakarta, but in Palembang. It will be another long journey back to the US. We reach on Monday, and play our match in the US Open on Wednesday,” he said.

Quite ironically, all the effort to be committed for the Asian Games has not cut much ice with the authorities of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) of the Union Sports Ministry, who have not released any funds for Bopanna among others.

“Sumit Nagal was saying that he got only three lakh rupees. I told him that he had got three lakhs more than me!” said Bopanna.

“Tennis is a tough sport with 200 countries playing the game. We spend a lot of money on travel, coaches, trainers, stay, etc. Nobody seems to understand this,” said Bopanna, who met the government officials recently and told them that he would be spending the money in any case, irrespective of them paying him.

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