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We need to work on mental toughness for bronze medal match: Sania Mirza

The Indian duo are positive of their bronze medal chances, but admit some things need to be worked on.

Mirza and Bopanna will face Hradecka and Stepanek from the Czech Replublic in bronze medal match

Since the Sydney Games in 2000, India has never failed to medal within the first week of Olympic initiation. However, Rio is proving to be a tough nut to crack with the country yet to register its first medal.  A lot of hopes were laid on the mixed doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna. Despite a solid start to their semi-final, they went down fighting to USA’s Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram, 6-2, 2-6, 10-3. The loss clearly left the duo deflated, who headed into the match with a lot of specific preparation. 

Speaking to Sportskeeda, Rohan said, “We had a good start to the match, but they played with a lot more confidence. It was unfortunate, because if a two points here or there would have gone for us it would be a very different situation. Tie-breakers are always a lottery and it didn’t go for us this time. Luckily, this is one of the few times in our sport, where we have actually been given a second chance. We usually don’t get a second chance, but now we are getting one. So it's important that we rest up and recover well as we have to win a medal tomorrow.”

Sania said, “It’s very difficult to get positives from a loss such as this. We played our best game during the first set and unfortunately a few missed shots here and there and the momentum completely shifted. This was not our best match and especially in the second set we lost concentration. But now we have a second chance and do the right thing to recover as strongly as possible from here. Our mental toughness can be improve, I feel if we believe a bit more that we can cross the line, the results can be a bit more different.”

Sania was also impressed by Venus Williams' return to form mid way through the match. She added,”Venus proved that she is one of the best and her quality came to the fore in the second set. This is exactly why she is the best. If she continues to play the way she is, she might just end up winning the title with Rajeev Ram.”

The duo are scheduled to play the bronze medal match against Czech Republic's Lucie Hradecka and Radek Stepanke at 12 pm BST. Meanwhile it’s going to be an all American final with Venus and Rajeev playing Jack Sock/Bethanie Mattek Sands in the final.

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