After Sumit Nagal became the first male Indian tennis player in 25 years to qualify for the second round on Day 1 of the Tokyo Olympics, Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina were hopeful of creating history by becoming the first female duo from India to win a match for 'real' at the Tokyo Olympics.
Interestingly enough, India has never made it past the first round in the Women's Doubles by winning a match, and today, they missed out on a big opportunity again as they lost the match in the most embarrassing manner to the Kichenok twins - Nadiia and Lyudmyla from Ukraine.
Wrapping up the matter in 1 hour 33 minutes, Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina were sent packing for home as they lost, 6-0, 6-7, 10-8, despite putting on a classy performance in the first set.
The last time India cleared Round 1 at Olympics was in Beijing 2008, when Sania and her partner Sunitha Rao received a walkover from Golovin/Parmentier of France.
#TeamIndia's journey comes to a halt in Women's Doubles #tennis after a brilliant comeback from #UKR twin sisters Nadiia Kichenok & Lyudmyla Kichenok in the first round tie.#IND hopes alive in Men's singles, @nagalsumit 🆚 @DaniilMedwed in Rd 2#AITATennis #Tokyo2020 #Olympics pic.twitter.com/pnY4lSC0dZ— All India Tennis Association (@AITA__Tennis) July 25, 2021
Sania Mirza's tryst with history
The 34-year-old Sania Mirza became the first female tennis athlete to compete at her 4th Olympic Games. Having previously participated in Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016, she was determined to bring a medal home this time.
It's difficult for a player to return after giving birth to a child and staying away from him is another challenge. Mirza has managed to deal with all the issues very sincerely, but her medal dream got broken this time as well.
It's worth noting that Sania has participated with a different partner at women's doubles on every edition of the Olympics. India has failed to produce a strong stable partner for the former World #1, who has won 3 Women's Doubles Grand Slams.
"It's just about believing in yourself and believing In your abilities. I am in my 30s and I'm still here! I don't really think too much about it (how long will I play). I take it day by day, I don't really think too far into the future," says the Tennis Olympian.
Sania has been training hard for this opportunity doing a lot of explosive movements, on-court work, and agile stuff to stay powerful. She has been waiting for this chance as she loves representing India. Her love for the land is visible in her demeanor and the way she presents herself in the game.
This was the first time though that she partnered with someone at the Olympics in the top 100 rankings in the world, A part of the growing breed of 'Supermoms,' the Indian ace is making her country proud with her appearance at the Olympics.