Rafael Nadal Marc Lopez Rio Olympics
Marc Lopez and Rafael Nadal are happy as can be after taking the gold medal in the men's doubles at the Rio Olympics, Aug.12, 2016Reuters

Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna are one win away from a medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Up against a formidable pair of Andy Murray and Heather Watson, the Indian duo brought all their doubles experience into play to move into the semifinals of the tennis mixed doubles competition.

As a result of that wonderful display of mixed doubles tennis, which saw Sania and Bopanna beat Murray and Watson 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and seven minutes, the Indians will have two chances at winning a medal.

Sania and Bopanna will meet Rajeev Ram and Venus Williams of the USA in the semifinals, with a win in that match guaranteeing them at least a silver, while a loss will mean they will battle it out for the bronze.

Either way, it is a big positive for India, after the men's and women's doubles teams crashed out in the first round. Sania and Bopanna seem to be gelling together, which is great news for their fans, and they certainly showed all their doubles nous in topping Murray, the silver medallist at this event at the London 2012 Olympics, and Watson.

While there was joy for India in the mixed doubles, it was nothing compared to the one enjoyed by Rafael Nadal, who added a second Olympic gold medal to his silverware collection, thanks to a victory in the men's doubles with Marc Lopez.

Sania Mirza Rohan Bopanna Rio Olympics
Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna acknowledge the crowd after beating Andy Murray and Heather Watson in the mixed doubles quarterfinals, Aug.12, 2016IANS

The Spain team topped the Romania pairing of Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in an enthralling men's doubles final which lasted two hours and 26 minutes. The bronze medal went to the American team of Jack Sock and Steve Johnson, who got the better of Canada's Vasek Pospisil and Daniel Nestor 6-2, 6-4.

Nadal is still in with a shot of completing a magnificent Rio 2016 double, after moving into the semifinals of the men's singles with a hard-fought victory over home favourite Thomaz Bellucci. After losing the first set 6-2, Nadal came back brilliantly to take the next two 6-4, 6-2 to march into the semifinals, and move to within two wins of emulating his feat eight years ago, when he won the gold medal in Beijing.

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Murray will also be there with Nadal in the men's semis, thanks to a man-that-was-too-close-for-comfort win over Steve Johnson. After clinching the first set 6-0, Murray dropped his guard for the second straight round, allowing the American a way back, before clinching the decider 7-2 in the tiebreak.

A Murray vs Nadal final is a possibility, but it will not be easy for either of the players, considering they will be facing Kei Nishikori and Juan Martin Del Potro, the conqueror of Novak Djokovic, respectively. Nishikori beat Gael Monfils 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), while Del Potro got the better of Roberto Bautista Agut 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) in the quarterfinals.

The women's singles gold medal match will be played between Monica Puig of Puerto Rico and Angelique Kerber of Germany. Puig upset Petra Kvitova 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in the first semifinal, while Kerber eased past Madison Keys 6-3, 7-5.

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