13.8.16

Rio Oympics 2016: Sania, Bopanna Enter Semis, Now Just One Win Away From A Medal

Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna are one step away from winning India a historic medal in tennis at the Olympics. Late on Friday night, India's mixed doubles pair got the better of Britain's Andy Murray and Heather Watson to breeze into the semifinals at the Rio Olympics. The fourth seeded Indian pair dominated the last-8 tie, winning 6-4, 6-4 in just 67 minutes.

Sania Bopanna
AFP
One more victory will ensure India a silver medal and a defeat in the semifinals would give Sania and Bopanna a chance to fight for the bronze. India has only one tennis medal in its entire Olympic history that came through Leander Paes, who won a singles bronze at 1996 Atlanta Games.
Sania and Bopanna were clearly the better team than the Britons, who never posed a threat to the Indians. Bopanna was solid with his booming serve while Sania played superbly from the back of the court.
Murray and Watson
AFP
London Games singles gold medallist, Murray came into the contest after winning his singles quarterfinal that lasted more than two hours and was a pale shadow of himself. The World No 2 seemed conserving his energy for the bigger battle ahead. His heavy legs and stifled movement on the court made the task easier for the Indians. Watson did not look like a player who won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title this year, struggling badly with her serve and ground strokes in the opening set. 
Bopanna began with a double fault and Sania's consecutive volley errors meant that Indians were first to blink. However, the Indians immediately got the break back as Watosn dropped serve at love. A flurry of unforced errors by the Briton set Indians nicely with three chances and Bopanna found a backhand winner on the first break point. Sania saved a breakpoint in the next and held to make it 2-2.
Sania Bopanna
AFP
A nervous looking Watson struggled with her serve and was again down 0-40. The Indians seized the advantage. Murray failed to put across a strong forehand return from Sania, putting the Indians ahead 4-3. 
Sania came out serving solid in the next set as India led 5-3. Bopanna served out the first set without fuss, hitting two aces. The British players played better as a team in the second but the Indians were up for the task and broke Murray in the fifth for a 3-2 lead.
That lead stayed with the Indians and Bopanna sealed the issue on the third match point with an overhead smash.

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