Rio 2016 | Mirza-Bopanna defeat Andy Murray-Heather Watson to enter mixed doubles semis

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Rio 2016 | Mirza-Bopanna defeat Andy Murray-Heather Watson to enter mixed doubles semis

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SportsCafe Desk

08/13/2016

Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna defeated their British rivals Andy Murray and Heather Watson to enter the semi-final of the mixed doubles event at Rio 2016. The Indians were broken in their very first service game but recovered to win in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 to give India realistic medal hopes.

The match began with Rohan Bopanna taking India up 30-0 with a lovely volley down the middle. But, Murray soon stamped his presence on the match with two aces. Bopanna and Mirza forced a deuce but Murray served out the first game.  On the second, India were up at 40-30, but Murray came up with a wonderful return to force the deuce. Sania Mirza's netplay suddenly looked all shaky as she lost two consecutive points, and India were suddenly down a break and 0-2 in the set.

But they broke back immediately on Watson's serve, while Sania held hers to draw par at 2-2. At 3-3, they again went after Watson's serve, and India had the break they needed. After Murray and Sania held serve, Bopanna served out the set in style with two aces to win the first set 6-4.

In the second set, after all four held serves to reach 2-2, it was Andy Murray who lost his serve. At break point, Bopanna sent a great forehand down the line, and Heather Watson could not bring her racket down in time to return it, and Murray's serve had been broken!

Having had the break, the Indians held their own to go up 4-2. After Andy Murray held serve to make it 4-5, Rohan Bopanna was on serve for the match. He started with an ace, and soon took India to two match-points. But Sania bungled up both with some inexplicable movements across the court. On the third match point, a comedy of errors ensued. Bopanna wasted two clear winners, and then found Sania huddled against him as he was trying to move away from her and towards the ball. And they stumbled together towards the ball. Finally, Sania managed to disentangle herself and finally, Bopanna managed to find a winner off his smash, and India were through with a 6-4, 6-4 win to enter the semi-final of the mixed doubles event.

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