The tennis event being held at the Barra Olympic Park at the Rio Olympics 2016 witnessed a huge shock as the French Open champions and strong medal contenders Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic were knocked out in the first round of women’s doubles on Saturday. Japanese Misaki Doi and Eri Hozumi were the architects of their downfall who sent the second seeds packing, 6-0, 0-6, 6-4 in 1 hour 38 minutes.
As far as total points are concerned, it was a pretty close contest with the Japanese duo edging out the French team 65-61. It was their ability to rise to the occasion on the biggest moments that paid them rich dividends. While the unseeded combine converted four of their five break point chances, Garcia and Mladenovic could only get 33% success on break points as they converted a paltry 3 out 9.
They will be left to rue their chances especially in the decider where four chances went begging whereas the Japanese pounced on the only break point they got.
Without a doubt, this was the biggest upset of the day in tennis as the French girls had joined forces with the sole purpose of grabbing an Olympic medal and was one of the standout performers in women’s doubles this year. They sizzled during the claycourt season and captured four titles that culminated in the Roland Garros crown at home.
Radwanska, Ivanovic bite the dust
Garcia-Mladenovic’s ouster caps a day of stunning results from tennis as top names kept on departing early. Women’s singles fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska was one of the biggest names from the singles draw to join the exodus.
The World No. 5 fell 4-6, 5-7 to Chinese World No. 64 Saisai Zheng. The Pole was broken thrice during the match.
Former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic’s fortunes were no better as she went down 6-2, 1-6, 2-6 to ninth seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.
There was another Chinese who entered the second round in the women’s singles draw. Australian Open quarter-finalist Zhang Shuai saved as many as three match points to oust the World No. 15 Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland, 6(4)-7, 6-4, 7-6(7). The match lasted a marathon 2 hours 52 minutes.
Dimitrov out, Nishikori wins
On the men’s side, a blockbuster opening round match turned out to be a dampener as Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria went down meekly to the ninth seed Marin Cilic, 1-6, 4-6. But fourth seed Kei Nishikori had no such problems as the Japanese cruised to a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas.Published 07 Aug 2016, 04:50 IST