The ‘other’ Indian who bagged a silver at Rio Olympics

Rajeev Ram, a first-generation of American of Indian origin, was Venus Williams’ partner in the mixed doubles tennis category but lost the finals to fellow US mates Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jack Sock

India At Large staff

When Rajeev Ram won the quarter-final match to enter the mixed doubles tennis final at the Rio Olympics along with partner Venus Williams, he was in a poignant mood amidst all the celebration by US fans in the stands.

The feeling was palpable, after all he’s a first-generation American of Indian origin, and had just beaten India’s Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna. He said after the match on August 14: “I will be the most hated person in India today. I am a first generation American having been born in the US in 1984.”

In the finals, however, Ram and Williams lost to fellow Americans Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jack Sock 7-6 (3), 6-1, 10-7, denying Williams a chance to become the first five-time champion in Olympic tennis history in the process.

Interestingly, the 32-year-old Carmel, Indiana resident – son of Raghav and Sushma Ram, who had migrated to the US from Bangalore – was supposed to be watching the Olympics on TV. But when defending men’s doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan pulled out, Ram was rushed to Rio a few days before the opening ceremony.

He was paired with Brian Baker in the doubles competition, losing in the second round.

Ram has claimed eight ATP doubles titles in his career, with several different partners. His career-high singles ranking is world no. 56, achieved in April 2016. He reached as high as world no. 20 in doubles in August 2016.

indiaatlarge@gmail.com

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