The Rio Olympics is less than three weeks away, and athletes all around the world are preparing to win a medal in the quadrennial event. Likewise, India tennis sensation Sania Mirza, who is a doubles specialist, believes one of India's best bet for a medal in the event will be in the mixed doubles category where she will partner Rohan Bopanna.
Sania and Bopanna are wonderful doubles players, as their respective rankings of world number one and fourteen suggests in women's and men's competition. However, playing mixed doubles is a different matter altogether, which requires a great understanding, and knowing each other strengths and weaknesses as well.
Add to it, quality of players, winning a medal in the event is not going to be a walk in the park. The pair will have to come up with some splendid tennis to emerge victorious. Both players have the much-needed experience to excel at the top level for India, and Sania, who is participating in her third Olympics, wants to give her best to come with a medal.
"I am looking forward to the Rio Olympics. It is my third Olympics. Obviously there is no guarantee in sports, all you can do is go and give your best and that's what I and Bopanna are going to try and do, and do whatever we can and win a medal at the Games. Rest is up to God," Sania said in IANS interview.
"See, I think this is the toughest among other events in tennis. There are top mixed doubles players from the world coming to compete. There will be world's top 10 players; it will surely be a challenging event. But at the end of the day, mixed doubles is the best bet we have in tennis to win a medal."
Sania and Bopanna will represent India with their respective partners in the women's and men's doubles competition as well. Sania will pair alongside Prarthana Thombare, while Bopanna will join hands with experienced Leander Paes to win a medal.
Though Sania feels India will be a force in the mixed doubles contest, Paes and Bopanna, if they get going will be a strong contender for a medal as well in men's competition.