Wimbledon 2021: Sania Mirza / Rohan Bopanna's projected path to the mixed doubles final

Sania Mirza (L) and Rohan Bopanna
Sania Mirza (L) and Rohan Bopanna

India's Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna face a difficult draw in the mixed doubles event at Wimbledon 2021. The duo are chasing their first Grand Slam title as a team.

Sania and Bopanna are the only Indians featured in the mixed doubles draw at the All England Club. They are both also competing in their respective doubles events this fortnight.

Playing in just her fourth event of the season and her first Grand Slam since the 2020 Australian Open, Sania Mirza is partnering Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the women's doubles draw. Rohan Bopanna, meanwhile, has teamed up with countryman Divij Sharan.

Here's a look at the projected draw for Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna in the Wimbledon mixed doubles event this year.

Sania Mirza / Rohan Bopanna's 1st round opponents: Ramkumar Ramanathan / Ankita Raina

With the Olympics coming up, a lot of players have teamed up with their compatriots in order to get some match practice together.

Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna will open their mixed doubles campaign against another all-Indian pairing in Ramkumar Ramanathan / Ankita Raina. Ramkumar/ Raina got into the main draw as alternates, taking up the spot of Hungarian duo Marton Fucsovics and Timea Babos.

Interestingly, this will mark the Grand Slam main draw debut in any format for the 26-year-old Ramanathan.

Sania Mirza / Rohan Bopanna's projected 2nd round opponents: Nicolas Mahut / Kristina Mladenovic

If the Indians win their first round, they will run into top seeds Nicolas Mahut and Kristina Mladenovic (who received a first-round bye).

It goes without saying that the French pair will be clear favorites in that match. Mahut and Mladenovic have won a combined 57 doubles titles between them, including multiple Grand Slams.

But while Maldenovic's resume also boasts of two mixed doubles Majors, Mahut has had little previous success in this format. That's something he would be hoping to correct before heading to Tokyo.

Sania Mirza / Rohan Bopanna's projected 3rd round opponents: Jean-Julien Rojer / Andreja Klepac

Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna could face 14th seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Andreja Klepac in the third round. Rojer is a two-time men's doubles Slam winner and, at the age of 39, one of the veterans on the doubles circuit.

Kelpac has not had had the same level of success as Rojer, but she has won nine doubles titles in her career. The Slovenian has also been consistently going deep at the Majors in women's doubles.

Sania Mirza / Rohan Bopanna's projected quarterfinal opponents: Desirae Krawczyk / Neal Skupski

If they reach the quarterfinals, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna could face seventh seeds Desirae Krawczyk and Neal Skupski.

Krawczyk has been one of the more consistent doubles performers on the WTA tour over the last few months. She and Guarachi have won the titles in Adelaide and Strasbourg this year, and last year they reached the Roland Garros final.

Krawczyk is also the reigning mixed doubles champion at Roland Garros, with Joe Salisbury.

Skupski on his part has had a fair bit of success in ATP doubles lately. He won the event in Mexico with his brother Ken, and also reached the finals in Miami and Monte Carlo.

Another pair to watch out for in this section of the draw is the Russian duo of Elena Vesnina / Aslan Karatsev.

Runners-up Aslan Karatsev and Elena Vesnina (left)
Runners-up Aslan Karatsev and Elena Vesnina (left)

Like Sania Mirza, Elena Vesnina is also working her way back after a maternity break. Besides being a solid singles player in the early part of her career, Vesnina has been a top-ranked doubles player too; she has won three women's doubles Slams and one mixed Slam.

Between her four Slams, the Russian has won titles at each of the four Majors.

Karatsev, meanwhile, has been one of the most improved ATP players over the past six months. He even won the men's doubles title in Doha earlier this year.

Karatsev and Vesnina reached the final of the French Open as a pair last month, and will be riding high on confidence.

Sania Mirza / Rohan Bopanna's projected semifinal opponents: Nicole Melichar / Edouard Roger-Vasselin

The projected semifinal opponents for Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna are fourth seeds Nicole Melichar and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

Melichar is ranked in the top 10 in doubles and has reached two Grand Slam finals in the discipline. She has also won two big titles this year - Doha and Miami - and is a former mixed doubles champion at the All England Club (2018).

Roger-Vasselin has claimed 22 ATP doubles titles, including the 2014 French Open. The Frenchman has also been a two-time runner-up in the men's doubles at Wimbledon.

Melichar and Roger-Vasselin could face the exciting duo of Venus Williams / Nick Kyrgios in the second round. Williams and Kyrgios' unlikely mixed doubles partnership has been the talk of the town over the first few days in London, and the pair will surely have the crowds behind them when they walk out on to the courts.

Sania Mirza / Rohan Bopanna's projected final opponents Gabriela Dabrowski / Mate Pavic

Gabriela Dabrowski and Mate Pavic with the 2018 Australian Open trophy
Gabriela Dabrowski and Mate Pavic with the 2018 Australian Open trophy

If things go their way, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna are projected to meet second seeds Gabriela Dabrowski / Mate Pavic in the final.

Dabrowski, 29, is another seasoned doubles campaigner. The Canadian reached the Wimbledon ladies' doubles final in 2019 and is a two-time mixed doubles Grand Slam winner. Interestingly, she won the 2017 French Open mixed title with Bopanna and the 2018 Australian Open with Pavic.

Pavic, on his part, is the current World No. 1 in men's doubles. The Croat won the Australian Open men's doubles title in 2018 and is the reigning US Open men's doubles champ.

In addition to his Australian Open mixed title with Dabrowski, Pavic also has a US Open mixed doubles title with Germany's Laura Siegemund (2016).

Third seeds Demi Schuurs / Wesley Koolhof, fifth seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands / Rajeev Ram and eighth seeds Hao-Ching Chan / Michael Venus are among the teams who could throw a spanner in the works for Pavic and Dabrowski.

Edited by Musab Abid
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