That doubles specialists play a different game compared to their singles counterparts is becoming more evident here at the Olympics by the day.
Andy Murray is the second ranked player in the world but in the company of Heather Watson he was quite ordinary in the face of the doubles prowess of the Indian combine of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna. The duo registered a 6-4, 6-4 win in an hour and eight minutes to gain their berth in the semifinals. Now, their next match itself allows them a chance at a medal.
Mirza played the lynchpin role in the encounter as she did not display any of the nerves that Watson seemed to be combating on the other end.
Bopanna began shaky, getting broken in his very first service game. But the Indians instantly got back into the match by taming Watson’s serve to break back. Watson was to prove to be the weak link throughout as the Indian duo smartly went after her and she obliged with many a fumble.
Murray tried but his lack of doubles acumen was obvious as he failed to come up with enough magic to cover for his partner’s lack of prowess.
Mirza, meanwhile was quite spectacular especially off her whiplash forehand. And as the match progressed, Bopanna too came into his own to solidly buttress the Indian combo.
Mixed doubles stays the best bet for India these games and the Indian duo seem to be on song for a medal. The way Bopanna served out the match seems to portend ominous for any opposition as the man from Bangalore appears to be getting into the groove after the exposure of three matches at the Olympics.