e the mixed doubles draw is yet to

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And although English league clubs are unlikely to splash cash in January, Arsenal and Chelsea could be tempted to strengthen their squads with new strikers. Sania Mirza recalls her first meeting with Rohan Bopanna as a 14-year old. He smiles shyly as she remembers him as the up and coming 20-year-old that everyone was talking about at the nationals all those years ago. Now, both are wisened pros who can count themselves among the best doubles players in the world. And here they are, together for the first time, as a combination at an Olympic games, hoping this chemistry they share on and off the court translates into a cherished lifelong memory.For us it doesnt take a lot, we get on court and we do our stuff, Mirza explains. I have to do what I do best, which is to make the returns and set him up. He does what he does best, his serve is one of the best in the world. Hes solid, he volleys great and obviously his presence is great. We kind of just tune in and just do it, because we are so comfortable with each other. When I step on the court with Rohan I dont feel like I havent played with him for months, it just kind of happens.Despite their visible camaraderie, Mirza and Bopanna havent extended their partnership to the professional circuit. While Mirza has played the three Grand Slams this year with Croatias Ivan Dodig, Bopanna paired up with three different partners. They did however play with each other for the Indian Aces at the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) at the end of last season and Bopanna is convinced they can be a force in Rio, having ensured they start the competition well prepared.The main factor for us was to come together a few days earlier and prepare, he says. Thats what we have been doing. Weve got a few sessions of good practice in and I think thats going to be key. If we play to our potential, we have every shot of winning a medal here. But with the new rules, no ad scoring and a ten point tie breaker as the deciding set, every team out here has a great shot.The draw for the mixed doubles competition will be made on August 9 and after a stream of high profile pullouts, Bopanna & Mirza are likely to be seeded, giving them a headstart in the 16-team event. Two wins will ensure they are in the medal round but team captain Zeeshan Ali warns that each mixed doubles match at the Olympics presents a sterner challenge than even the Grand Slams, where the format is mostly played.If you are seeded you know you wont play at leaast the top four teams in the first round, Ali says.dddddddddddd That is definitely a bit of a plus but every match is tough, some of the best singles players in the world are going to be playing in all the events, which is something you dont really see everyday. This is probably one of the toughest tournaments in the world.While the mixed doubles has been projected as Mirzas prime focus, these Games are also an opportunity for her to provide a taste of tennis elite stage to 22-year old Prarthana Thombare, who will partner her in the womens doubles. Thombare trains at Mirzas academy in Hyderabad and has had some encouraging results on the ITF circuit, where she has won as many as 17 doubles titles. At the training session with Mirza and Bopanna, Thombare was a willing participant in every drill, and is clearly eager to make a strong impression. Mirza is an enthusiastic mentor, cajoling Thombare every now and again as they raise the intensity of their session.I am very proud of her, Mirza says. Shes hitting the ball well, she plays much better than a girl whos 190 in the world, but more than anything she is so proud to be here and represent India. Hopefully, this will lead her to do bigger things and take that next step.Mirzas two previous Olympics experiences have been quite bitter with an injury forcing her out at Beijing in 2008 in tears and her forced, and ultimately futile, pairing with Leander Paes for the 2012 Games in London. Over the last couple of years though Mirza has constructed a spectacular CV that includes multiple Grand Slams and reaching the top of the tree in the world rankings. She hopes to leave Rio, a city she has never been to before, not just having taken in the sights but with another high point of her professional career.Every tournament we play, we try and win, she says when asked how the Olympics compare to a Grand Slam. It is not about as big, or whats more special. We are here to compete and it would mean the world to me and I am sure to Rohan if we could get a medal.While the mixed doubles draw is yet to be announced, Sania and Prarthana have been drawn against Chinese pair of Peng Shuai and Shuai Zhang in the womens doubles first round. Wholesale Jerseys 2019 Cheap Jerseys 2020 Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping Cheap Jerseys China Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '

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