Sania Mirza and Prarthana Thombare crashed out of women’s doubles event at the Rio 2016 Olmypics in the first round. The Indian pairing lost 6-7, 7-5, 7-5 to Chinese pairing of Shuai Zhang and Shuai Peng in a marathon two hours and 44 minutes encounter.
Slated last on court nine, the serve was erratic in the opening set which saw three breaks of serves with a tiebreak needed to decide matters. In the tiebreak, Zhang and Peng came out touch better to win 8-6.
Mirza and Thombare started the second much better to break the Chinese pair early and lead 2-0 and then 3-1. But their serve was broken soon to level matters at 5-5.
Mirza-Thombare did well to break back immediately and then close out the second to force a third.
In the decider, the Indian pairing let go of an early break to go down 1-3 but clawed back quickly to make it 3-3.
In the ninth game, India were broken once again to give China a chance to serve it out for the match at 5-4. But the drama was still unfolding. The Indian broke serve again to make it 5-5.
— ITF Olympic Tennis (@OlympicsTennis) 7 August 2016
But just as the glimmer of hope appeared, it went up in smoke again with serve getting broken and soon enough the Chinese pairing closed matters in the morning hours of Sunday in India.
Earlier in the day, Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna crashed out of men’s doubles leaving India’s hopes squarely in mixed doubles involving Bopanna-Mirza.