Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna brought some cheer to Indian fans as they defeated Britain’s Heather Watson and Andy Murray 6-4, 6-4 to storm into the semi-finals of mixed doubles at 2016 Rio Olympics. The match lasted 67 minutes only.
The Indian combine can now end the country’s medal if they win the next match. Even if they lose it, they will have a chance to secure the bronze medal. India have only one tennis medal that came through Leander Paes, who won a singles bronze at 1996 Atlanta Games.
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 number two, winner of three Grand Slams and singles defending Olympics champion, 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.
Sania and Bopanna started on a mundane note in the first set as they were broken in the second game itself to be 0-2 down. However, they broke back Murray-Watson in the third game to make a brilliant comeback.
They then earned a break on the seventh point to take a 4-3 lead in the first set, and then held serves to clinch it 6-4.
In the second set, after holding their first two serves, Sania and Bopanna broke Murray and Watson in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. They held their serves to win the set 6-4 and pocket the match.