Rio de Janeiro : India’s mixed double’s pair of Sania and Bopanna outlasted Britain's Andy Murray and Heather Watson 6-4,6-4 to storm into the semi final of mixed-doubles event of the Olympic Tennis competition here. The 4th-seeded Indian pair took only 67 minutes to clinch the match.
Murray came into the match looking very tired having fought a grim two hour battle to his singles quarterfinal The world number two, winner of three Grand Slams and the defending Olympic champion, seemed to be saving his energy for the singles.
His tentative display made the job easier for the Indians. Watson, also was off colour and she did not display that energy and enthusiasm which was expected and even had problem with her serve and ground strokes in the opening set. The Indians opened with a double fault and Sania's unforced volley errors gave the rival the first break but the British pair could not hold on to the advantage as Watosn dropped serve at love. Murray and Watson played better as a team in the second set, but the Indians broke Murray in the fifth for a 3-2 lead.
Bopanna sealed the set and match on the third match point with an overhead smash. After the match Bopanna said he was satisfied the way match went. "We definitely played better than yesterday.
The conditions also helped us, especially for me on the serve, it was a lot better. Sania served very well yesterday and today and we returned extremely well, putting a lot of pressure on their serves. That made a difference today for sure". He however added that he was still working on his serve every single day even though it is my strength. " I work on it every single day, I trust my serve so much that it doesn’t matter if I serve two double faults, I know I can go for my second serves. " Sania said, she and Bopanna played much better then their first fixture. "We feel that we played better than yesterday, which is what we said we needed to and I am glad we were able to deliver.
The conditions were a lot easier to play today, it wasn’t so windy". 'My biggest strength is the return and we put a lot of pressure with that and hence we break the girl a lot and we also broke Andy.
That’s the way me and Mahesh (Bhupathi) used to play and that’s the way me and Rohan play.
We are really happy the way we played but of course there’s room for improvement.
It isn’t just about tennis, but also nerves and many things that come into play in the semifinal so we are going to hope to bring our A game again and hopefully be better than even today,' she said.