Chandigarh: Forget the past and communicate as much as possible -- that's how Rohan Bopanna plans to make his partnership with Leander Paes click in next month's Olympics as he feels there is no point in holding on to the bitterness which has marred Indian tennis.
Bopanna, who wanted to play with Saketh Myneni but was teamed with Paes by AITA for Rio, says it's better to forget a few episodes. And he credits the tough and lonely life on the ATP tour for helping him overcome such setbacks.
Bopanna and Paes are in Chandigarh for the Davis Cup tie against Korea. They will play on Saturday against Hong Chung and Yunseong Chung.
"You can't keep dwelling on the past. If you keep dwelling on past, you never get positives. You have to look at what is the scenario today and look ahead tomorrow. Today's thing is that me and Leander are going to Rio. We are getting practice and before Rio also we will have four-five days. I am going straight to Rio after Toronto, Leander will also be there. Those few days we will try to get practice as much as we can. And get prepared," Bopanna told PTI in an interaction.
Asked how big a challenge it is to forget the past and gel with a player with whom he hasn't shared a great relationship off the court, Bopanna said he is professional enough to deal with the situation.
"On the circuit we change partners very often. So we are used to that. In 2013, I played with Roger Vasselin and made semis in Wimbledon. It's a matter of getting good practice and it could work out. We just have to get right practice and some good communication going on. Understand each other. It will definitely benefit us.
"The only thing we can do is practice a lot and get used to conditions. Five days is a lot. I am a person who can move on. Certain things happen but you keep moving on. The wins and loses also help that. Sometimes you lose a close match but next week it's a fresh tournament. Everyday is a new day. We have to overcome these challenges.
"We have to find a way, communicate well. Like talking on the court, discussing what we have to do, how we have to plan strategy. How we have to combine as a team and gel together," he said.
In the most recent matches they have played together, Bopanna and Paes lost the doubles rubber against Czech Republic but made a remarkable recovery from being down two sets to win against Serbia.
Paes arrived in Chandigarh on Wednesday and they practiced for about an hour and a half but rain prevented them from training together even as Paes had a hit on hard courts.
On being asked if they have a realistic chance of reaching the medal round in Rio, Bopanna said getting a good draw will be crucial.
"When we go into a tournament, I am not just looking at winning a bronze medal. Either I am going all the way to top or not go at all. The goal is to do the best we can. We have to take one match at a time. The competition is very high. We are hoping to be seeded. Also we need a little luck in the draw. That's part of whole thing."
Talking about the tie starting Friday, Bopanna said the grass is the best choice for India.
"We all discussed as a team and chose grass because it is an advantage. Looking at the fact that their number one player's favourite surface is hard courts, we decided grass is the right surface for us.
"That's why you have advantage of playing Davis Cup at home. The tie was right after Wimbledon. Ramkumar and Saketh have played on grass for a month coming into this tie. Grass clearly is the best surface for us," he asserted.
However, Bopanna said it will be some task for the Indians in the tie.
"We might be favourites in rankings. But I have proved it myself wrong by beating higher-ranked players in Davis Cup.
Rankings go out of the window in Davis Cup. You have to play best tennis. There is a lot of pressure, you are playing for the country, a lot of expectations are there.
"The Koreans are here for last 10 days, they are going to be a tough team. We have played them numerous times. I know we have to play our best to beat them."