The Indian tennis couple, Sania Mirza and Rohan Boppana, failed to achieve the bronze medal in the Rio Olympics. Radek Stepanek and Lucie Hradecka from the Czech Republic were the teams that earned the prize in a 1-6, 5-7 match.
The Indian pair lost the first set and tried to regain points in the second half, but they were not able to recover and finally lost against the Czech Republic. They lost in semifinals against the American team, where Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram won in a 6-2, 2-6, 3-10 match.
About Mirza and Bopanna
Sania Mirza, the 29 years old professional tennis athlete is ranked currently as the Number 1 in the women’s doubles rankings. She was ranked as India’s Number 1 player according to the Women’s Tennis Association until she retired from singles in 2013. In India she won a considerable amount of matches, winning six major titles and more than $1 million in career earnings. She has 14 medals in her record, earned in the Afro-Asian Games, in the Asian Games and at the Commonwealth Games.
Rohan Bopanna, on the other hand, was not at the top as a single tennis player but achieved the position number 3 in the World Ranking in Doubles in 2013. He has not been a significant figure like an athlete but has a substantial impact in other areas linked to sports. In 2010, he was nominated by Peace and Sport, a European organization to win a Peace Prize for working against political barriers in sports.
The nerve-wrecking match
Losing the semifinals sent the Indian pair to compete for their last hope of getting a medal, so the game started with tension in the air. Even though the Centre Court of Olympic Tennis Center was not full of spectators the match represented an opportunity to India to finally gain their first medal in the Rio Olympics, so the burden on Mirza and Bopanna was not light.
The first set was owned by the Czech pair that did the first point of the match, stressing the Indian team. The lead of the Czech team was almost continuous, showing that the Indians were having difficulties to even the scoreline and responding to the attacks of their opponents. In the second game, the Indian team managed to respond better achieving a 3-1 scoreline and took control of the game for at least 15 minutes before falling against the Czech pair again, who leveled the game once again and eventually turned the scoreline in their favor again.
Finally, the Czech team won and received the fifth bronze medal in this Olympics.
Czech Republic and India in Rio 2016
The Czech Republic have won 6 medals in total in this Olympics, three bronze medals in Tennis, one bronze in Rowing, one bronze in Canoe slalom and one golden medal in Judo, won by Lukas Krpálek, the top Czech medalist.
India, on the other hand, had disappointed one of the most populated countries in the world by having zero medals in these Olympics so far.