Sania-Paes knocked out of Olympics

Aug 05, 2012, 08:21 IST | AFP

Leander Paes and Sania Mirza's dreams of a mixed doubles medal at the London Olympics were shattered on Saturday as they lost 7-5, 7-6 (7/5) to Belarusian top seeds Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka.

Paes and Mirza were hoping for a shock win on Wimbledon’s Court 12 which would have put them into the semi-finals and within touching distance of the podium.

Sania Mirza (left) and Leander Paes during their quarter-final match on Friday. Pic/AFP

But the duo bowed out at the quarter-final stage, in a match which had been postponed due to bad light on Friday evening with the Belarusians leading 7-5, 2-3. The Indian pair, who beat Serbia’s Nenad Zimonjic and Ana Ivanovic in the first round, were playing together in controversial circumstances.

Paes had demanded an assurance that only he would be paired with Mirza, rather than Mahesh Bhupathi or Rohan Bopanna, following a row over Bhupathi’s refusal to play with Paes in the men’s doubles.

Mirza hit out about the arrangement, saying she was uncomfortable at being used as “bait” to keep Paes happy after winning two grand slam titles with Bhupathi.

All of India’s tennis competitors have now been eliminated from the Games. Paes has a singles bronze medal from the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

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