London, Jul 25: Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna feels "extremely lucky" to be part of the Olympics and said he will concentrate on performance rather than result when he pairs up with Mahesh Bhupathi in the men's doubles competition at the Wimbledon.
Excited to play his first Olympics, Bopanna said he can't explain his emotions at being part of such a huge sporting extravaganza.
"Well I can only consider myself extremely lucky. Just think how many players from all over the World have got the chance to figure in this mega event. I could not have asked for more," Bopanna said.
"I just cannot explain my emotions or feelings about playing in the Olympics. It is great to be here. To see best of the sportspersons under one roof. It is just an awesome sight to see hundreds of sportspersons from all over the globe sitting under one roof having their breakfast, lunch and dinner."
"I was surprised to see so many athletes in Asian Games but it is four to five time bigger, it is just unbelievable. But Olympics is a great movement. Nowhere else you will find such bonhomie between representing over 200 countries," he said.
Bopanna said his wish is to meet US Baketball team players and sprint king Usain Bolt.
Asked about his chances in the Olympics, Bopanna said: "We have chances as good as others. It depends on our form on that day. We have prepared well for this event for last six months. We will go all out and give our best, let us see what happens. Winning and losing is part of the Game. The important issue is how we will perform.
"There has been many highs and few lows in his career. I have been representing the country since 2002. I had the privilege of helping India to make it to the World Group of Davis Cup," he said.
Bopanna said he will concentrate on doubles in future. "Look I am 32. I am not very young. At this stage I have to think how to prolong my playing career. I have to make a living," he said.
"Playing singles or doubles is purely my personal decision. I take my own decisions," he said.
Talking about his earlier doubles partnership with Pakistan's Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi on International Circuit, Bopanna said it shattered many a myths.
"Most of the People, especially those who have knowledge of India-Pakistan history were surprised to see both of us playing together. Some thought it is sort of publicity seeking move and others predicted that partnership will not last long or will end in acrimony. All the naysayers were proved wrong," Boppana said in an interaction at the Games Village.
"We definitely had no agenda nor we started as a peace messenger, we met on the tour and started playing and became good friends," the Bangalore-based player said.
Recalling his first meeting with Aisam, the 32-year-old Indian said he met the Pakistani 15 years ago in Delhi but at that time, "I never thought that I will partner him in near future. But let me tell you, Tennis is a very lonely tour. On the tour American, Chinese, French etc usually move together. Both of us (Me and Aisam) were lonely, got started talking on the tour and common language helped us."
"In 2007 in England, I did not have the doubles partner so we decided to play together and in the third tournament we won the title and as they say rest is history," he added.
About his friendship with Aisam, he said, "Never once we discussed about our countries or politics because we knew that things are not in our control. But given the history of the two countries relationship, most of the people were really surprised to see us playing together and that with good degree of success."
He termed Aisam as one of the finest human being. "Well all I can say playing with him is a great pleasure. Sports blurs boundaries, nationalities and religion."