The Indian pair of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna moved into the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles event of tennis at the Olympics after a straight-set win over the Australian pair of Samantha Stosur and John Peers on August 12.
Sania and Bopanna, who are at the forefront as India’s hopefuls for a medal at the Olympics, had a comfortable win in the opening match with scores reading 7-5 6-4 in 73 minutes.
The fourth seeded Indian pair took a some time to settle down, but once they got into their game, there was hardly any looking back.
“Personally for me it would be amazing to win a medal at the Olympics, which I don’t have. It would mean the world us. We would do whatever we can and put our best forward,” the world number one women’s doubles player Sania told reporters after the match.
At a small court of the Tennis Centre in Barra, there was a small army of Indian supporters who waited eagerly to see the Indians in action since 3.30pm local time. The match was behind schedule as the men’s doubles semifinals, featuring the Spanish and Canadian stars, took a little more than two hours to finish.
Waiting in the stands were tennis player Leander Paes, Sports Minister Vijay Goel and SAI director Injeti Srinivas.
In the first set, both teams were on their toes, not dropping a point, until the ninth game when the Indian pair went up 5-4 after breaking Peersa�� serve. But all was not easy thereafter, as the Indians conceded an advantage in the next game, and were broken back to level the scores at 5-5.
However, Sania and Bopanna did not let this deter them as they capitalised on an unforced error from the Aussies to take four straight points and break Stosur’s service to bag the first set in 36 minutes.
In the second set, the Aussie pair started to crack under pressure and this was reflected in a double fault from Peers, which helped the Indians with an early break to take a 3-2 lead.
Even as the crowda��s excitement and support grew, Sania and Bopanna held their serve to take a 4-2 lead. Bopanna sealed the game with three big aces, to which the Aussie were rendered speechless.