Sania Mirza-Rohan Bopanna
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Rio Olympics: Sania Mirza-Rohan Bopanna Express Confidence Ahead Of Semifinal

Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna will play Rajeev Ram and Venus Williams in the mixed doubles semifinals and they will be aiming to break India’s medal drought.

Sania Mirza Rohan Bopanna Rio Olympics
Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna are one win away from securing a medal for India.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 1Sania-Bopanna are one win away from securing a medal for India
  • 2Sania-Bopanna defeated Murray-Watson to enter semifinal
  • 3Sania is the No.1 women’s doubles player

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Just one win away from assuring an Olympics tennis medal, the mixed doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna said they would have to keep the emotion aside and start afresh when they play in the semifinals.

In their bid to win a maiden Olympic medal, Sania and Bopanna dominated the quarterfinals proceedings against the British duo of Andy Murray and Heather Watson in 6-4 6-4 win in one hour and seven minutes at the Court 2 of Olympic Tennis Centre at Barra.

“We still think we can improve as every round becomes tougher from here on. We played two amazing champions today and we look forward to playing champions, whoever it is, tomorrow. Everyday is a new day. Yes we are confident after beating Andy but in the end we have to forget the emotion what happened and give our best again by staying fresh,” Sania said.

The Indian duo will face the American pair of Venus Williams and Ram Rajeev in the semifinals. If they win the semifinals match, Sania and Bopanna will be assured of at least a silver and if they lose, they will still play for the bronze-medal match.

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The world number one doubles player Sania said they had done homework against the British pair and that clicked.

“We had a gameplan, saw their videos. We had to stick to it and try to keep Andy out of it. We wanted to make him play the uncomfortable shots. He’s obviously the best in the world. We had to try and bring him in,” she said.

“My return was coming good for me. Whenever he did play we had to play to his weakness. He was serving and volleying. No matter what happens I know I was the one who’s going to be attacked. That’s what happens when you’re a girl. You obviously expect the ball is going to come to you as a guy always serves better and stronger. You have to be ready.”

Sania also spoke highly of her lanky partner Bopanna who complemented her well for an easy win.

“We feel as a team together. I feel my returns were better than yesterday. I was able to break everybody. No matter whom we are playing against. Rohan was also very solid. We had the confidence on each other, unless I did something stupid,” Sania said.

“We wanted to put pressure on the girl especially. She just won one point in the first two games. That played on her mind I think. We played better than yesterday. It’s a lot of fun with him, even during an intense situation. We help each other, fight together. It helps we know each other really well off the court as well. We have played together for many years now,” she added.

Bopanna also gave credit to Sania and said the condition was less windy as he got back to his rhythm.

“It was not so windy so it helped. We knew we had to put our ‘A’ game out there with especially Andy. Sania was returning extremely well and it became easy for me at the net. She hits the ball really hard and aggressive, it makes me easier to move in the court, that made a difference.

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“I also serve much better all due to the conditions. Even the game we lost it was because of some unforced errors, they did not have to do much apart from one return from Andy. We could break back and took the momentum forward. We had to stay away from the strong person which was Andy. That was the obvious choice,” said Bopanna.

Talking about the upcoming semifinals, Bopanna said, “Everyday is a new day. We are taking one match at a time. Every match is tough. It’s going to be a tough match again and we have to be confident. We have a great chance of winning the semifinals.”

source: NDTV News

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