Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.
The Indian pair of Sania Mirza and Prarthana Thombare lost their first round match against Zhang Shuai and Shuai Peng today, 6-7, 7-5, 5-7. Taking the first set to a tiebreak, Mirza and Thombare put up a tenacious fight to progress in the Olympics, and even took the second set off their Chinese rivals, but were ousted in the end by a powerful side.
Thombare, making her Olympic debut, had partnered Mirza to good effect before – the pair won bronze at the 2014 South Asian Games in Incheon, but this time it was simply not enough. Although 22-year-old Thombare got some good strong serves in, she, and her World No. 1 partner, fell short to a relentless attack.
After they lost the first set, the Indians raced to a 4-1 lead in the second – any many would not have been remiss in believing the pair could turn the match on its head.
The Chinese pair, however, fought back resiliently as the Indians were left unable to close the set out, and managed to level the sets at 5-5 in the end as India squandered set point and what would eventually be a valuable opportunity to build back some momentum.
Zhang and Peng were able to capitalize on their long rallies, holding on for some valuable points that would eventually win them the match, coming back stirringly in the third set as they refused to allow Mirza and Thombare to build momentum any further than they had in the second.
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