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Rio Olympics 2016: Sania Mirza/Prarthana Thombare knocked out by Shuai Zhang/ Shuai Peng in the first round

Sania Mirza/Prarthana have been knocked out of Rio 2016 after they lost to Shuai Zhang/ Shuai Peng 6-7, 7-5, 5-7 in a hard-fought first round women's doubles encounter. After losing the first in a tie-break, the Indian pair came back strongly to win the second set but lost the third 5-7 to lose the set and any chance India had of a medal in women's doubles.
Updated: 07 August 2016 06:47 IST - Published: 07 August 2016 00:42 IST
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India's medal hopes in tennis, now rest firmly in the hands of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna, who will feature in the first round of the mixed doubles in a few day's time. 

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The story of the game has been a simple one. Whenever the Indian pair have kept it simple and short, they have won the point more often than not and when the rallies became longer, the Chinese pair came into the game. And in the end, that was the difference as both of India's doubles pairs have been knocked out of Rio 2016 in the first round.

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And it's all over, Sania Mirza and Prarthana Thombare have been knocked out by Shuai Zhang and Shuai Peng after losing 6-7, 7-5, 5-7.

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China take a 6-5 lead and will get the chance to serve for the match once again. Can they close the deal this time?

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Prarthana Thombare to serve. Can she give India the lead they desperately crave or will she be broken?

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India level at 5-5. Despite racing to a 30-0 lead, Shuai Peng didn't have it all her own way in what could have been the final game of the match. Instead, she was down 30-40, saved a break point before eventually dragging it to deuce and losing it to give India another glimmer of hope.

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Peng Shuai of China will serve for the match. Can she hold her nerve? Will the Indian pair mount another stirring comeback? It won't take long to find out the answers.

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Mirza is unable to hold her serve and now China, with a 5-4 lead in the third set, will have an opportunity to serve for the match.

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4-4 in the third set and Sania Mirza to serve. This might well be the game that decides the match. Whoever wins it will get a massive boost.

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If India want to go through to the next round, they aren't getting there easily. 3-4 down and against a rampant Indian pair, Zhang Shuai held her serve, thanks largely to the pair's ability to convert long rally into points.

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India lead 4-3 in the third set. Prarthana's serve has answered the Indian prayers as she holds it to give India their third consecutive game to take a 4-3 lead.

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India level it 3-3 in the third set. The Chinese pair have been broken for the first time in the set and the previous game is starting to look like the turning point of the set as India are now level 3-3.

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China lead 3-2. Sania Mirza comes up trumps with her serve at the crucial moment as she brings India to within a point off the Chinese pair in the final set. Will this be the turning point in this set?

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If the second set was an exhibition in how to hold your serve by the Indian pair, the Chinese pair are doing the same in the third set. Another hold of serve means they are up 3-1 in the final set.

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China lead 2-1 in the third set. Prarthana comes up with the goods on her service yet again as he holds a crucial game to cut the lead down to 2-1 and register India's first points of the set.

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China take a 2-0 lead in the third set. But it was anything but easy, although the Chinese pair raced into a 40-0 lead. A stirring comeback almost gave India the game but the serve wasn't broken.

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If the Indian pair thought that the third set was going to be a cruise, then they better rethink it as China have a break of serve in the first game.

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India win the second set, we will now go into the third set to decide the winner of this enthralling contest.

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Opportunities don't knock twice but in this set, it did. After throwing away the first set point at 5-3, the Indian pair made no mistake second time around as they clinched the second set 7-5.

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India lead 6-5, can Zhang Shuai hold her serve and take it to another tie-break or will the Indian pair break her serve and take the set and the match into the third set.

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Cometh the hour, cometh the Olympics debutant with a hold of serve to held India take a 6-5 lead in the second set.

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Now the pressure is on Prarthana, who will need to ensured that her serve is on the mark, if India are to take the lead and claim the second set.

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5-5 in the second set. After staving off a set point and a break point, Peng Shuai holds her nerve and her serve and makes it three consecutive games for China.

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From being 2-5 down and all but losing the set, the Chinese pair have fought valiantly to stay in the set. Can Peng Shuai hold her serve and level the scores at 5-5?

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India lead 5-4 in the second set. Sania Mirza is unable to close out the set and out of nowhere, the Chinese pair have the opportunity to level the scores in the second set.

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Sania Mirza to serve for the second set as the Indian pair lead 5-3.

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India lead 5-3. The Chinese pair aren't making things easy for India as another hold of serve means it is now in Sania Mirza's hands.

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Prarthana serves as well as she has done in the game so far and brings India to within a game of winning the set.

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India lead 4-2 in the second set. For the first time in this set, the Chinese pair hold their serve and the match is just starting to get more interesting.

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Can the Indian pair build on this 4-1 lead and close out the set quickly or will Zhang Shuai/ Peng Shuai make a comeback once again.

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India lead 4-1 in the second set. The biggest lead of the match has just been achieved by Sania and Prarthana as the former holds her serve and the pair take a 4-1 lead.

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This set so far has been all about the break of serve. At least as far as the Indian pair are concerned and just like that, they have another. They lead 3-1 with Sania serving to make it the largest lead of the match so far.

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India lead 2-1 in the second set. The script has been followed once again as Prarthana is unable to hold her serve and the Chinese pair are on the board in this set.

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It is a case of deja vu so far in the second set as it has almost mirrored the first. India have raced to a 2-0 lead but can they hold on to it this time or will we see another titanic struggle ending in a heart-breaking tie-breaker?

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That is exactly the sort of start that the Indian pair would have been looking for. Sania Mirza holds her serve and India have a 1-0 lead in the second set.

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That was an impressive comeback from China to take that set 7-6 in the tie-break. But the Indian pair aren't out of this by any stretch of the imagination. In a short while, Sania Mirza will serve and begin the second set, which the pair will have to win to stay in the tournament.

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The answer is no as China get the point and take the tie-break 8-6.

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China are leading 7-6 but it will be Prarthana to serve. Can she save a set point once again?

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And we are going deep into the tie-break as the scores are level at 6-6.

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At the crucial moment, the Indian pair have a point on the Chinese serve, but India are still 4-5 down as Sania Mirza prepare to serve.

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The seventh point of the tie-break sees the first break of serve as the Chinese lead 4-3.

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The tie-break has been on serve so far and China currently have a 3-2 lead.

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And we will now enter a tie-break to decide the first set, which is level at 6-6.

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She might only be 22 but Prarthana has already shown plenty of resilience in this game. Not only did she save two set points but showed that playing in her first Olympics has had no adverse effect on her game as she holds her serve and we are tied at 6-6.

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Can Prarthana Thombare hold her serve and ensure that this set goes into a tie-break or will the Chinese pair have another break of serve and walk away with the set.

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For the first time in the match a game has been without a point being conceded. And what a time to do it as China now lead 6-5 in the first set.

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5-5 in the first set. Sania Mirza is unable to serve out for the set as the Chinese pair come back strongly to take the game. As has been the case so far in this match, the longer the rallies last, the greater the chances of the Chinese pair taking the point.

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At 5-4 in the first set, Sania Mirza will now serve for the first set.