In a big blow to India’s medal hopes at the London Olympics,Sania Mirza crashed out of the women doubles event of the French Open with a first round defeat along with her partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands,here today.
Sania,who is world number 10 in the individual doubles ranking,needed to stay in top-10 before the June 11 cut-off mark to make a direct entry into the women’s doubles draw of the Olympics.
A place in the main draw of the women’s doubles or singles would have given Sania a place in the mixed doubles event at the London Games where she was expected to partner with Mahesh Bhupathi.
And for that she needed to defend 1400 points at the Roland Garros,where she was a finalist last year.
But after today’s 3-6 6-4 5-7 upset defeat against Nina Bratchikova of Russia and Edina Gallovits-Hall of Romania it will be quite difficult for Sania to stay in the top-10bracket.
Only a top-10 player makes a direct entry into the Olympics with a privilege to choose partner,irrespective of his/her ranking.
Such poor is the state of Indian women tennis that next best player after Sania is Rushmi Chakravathi,who is ranked 514 in the doubles. Their combined ranking would not take them anywhere close to the qualification mark.