RIO DE JANEIRO (Diya TV) — Indian American Rajeev Ram and tennis veteran Venus Williams teamed up to bring down the Indian duo of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna in the mixed doubles semi-finals, 1-6, 5-7.
The heated dual, which lasted one hour and 17 minutes, was fought at the Olympic Tennis Center, and showcased the skills of Ram, who sprinted across the court with ease, and at times, appeared to outpace the tempo of his celebrated and experienced teammate.
While Williams and Ram were ultimately defeated in the final, the two sunk their teeth through the silver medal, marking the culmination of a serious moment in the career of the 32-year-old Ram. A first-generation Indian American, Ram is the son of Raghav and Sushma Ram who migrated stateside from Bangalore.
The Indian doubles team were defeated in the bronze medal match by the Czech Republic pairing of Lucie Hradecka and Radek Stepanek.
Against the American tandem, India came out guns blazing, winning the first set by a score of 6-2. However, the Americans would take control of the second set and later winning the slot in the final of the Olympics through a tiebreaker scoring 10-3.
“I will be the most hated person in India today,” Ram said during a post-match press conference. “I am a first generation American having been born in the U.S. in 1984.”
He had once dreamt of representing his native India in the Olympic Games, but he was denied an Indian passport as he spent the entirety of his life in the U.S. as an American citizen. Had he forfeited his U.S. citizenship, India would have granted the passport.
Since 2004, Ram has suited up for the Red, White and Blue, and has won a total of two singles titles and nine doubles titles. Regarded as a much more fierce doubles player than singles, he has reached two Grand Slam semi-finals, the most recent coming at this year’s tournament at Wimbledon.
He is currently ranked No. 24 in the world in doubles, and has reached at least the quarterfinals of every Grand Slam. By defeating Mirza and Bopanna in Olympics he is sure to get his first ever Olympic medal in the mixed doubles tournament.