Come the Olympics and tennis can be relied upon to provide a bucketful of drama. The 2016 build up hasn't quite matched the heights, or depths, of the events of 2012 but there's been a smattering anyway. At the end of it, three doubles combinations have been identified. Rohan Bopanna, who earned direct qualification having finished in the top-10, will pair up with veteran Leander Paes in the men's doubles. Paes, set for his seventh Olympics has slumped dramatically in the rankings and the chances of the combination returning with a medal appear remote. It is with World number one Sania Mirza that Bopanna forms a likelier medal hope in the mixed doubles - they are close friends and showed sparks of gelling well at the International Premier Tennis League at the end of last season. Mirza will also feature in the women's doubles alongside the up and coming Prarthana Thombare, but don't expect that pairing to go very far. Net net, a tennis medal will be a bonus.

The team

Rohan Bopanna - Men's doubles and mixed doubles

Leander Paes - Men's doubles

Sania Mirza - Women's doubles and mixed doubles

Prarthana Thombare - Women's doubles

The key dates

August 6-14

How they got there

Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza qualified for the men's and women's doubles respectively by virtue of being ranked in the top 10 on June 6th, which was the cut-off for the Olympics. It also ensured a berth in the mixed doubles draw for them.

What they say

Prarthana Thombare

It's a dream come true to be playing alongside Sania at the ultimate sporting arena.

Sania Mirza

We are the biggest contingent that's going. We are really excited and hopefully we can put up a good performance.


Extras

This will be Leander Paes' seventh Olympics, which is the most for any Indian. No other Indian has appeared in more than five Olympics.

India's track record

*India won its only medal in tennis at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, where Leander Paes won a bronze in the men's singles.

*Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi finished fourth in the men's doubles at the Athens Olympics in 2004, which is India's best performance in the men's doubles.

*Sania Mirza made the last 16 with Sunitha Rao in the women's doubles at the Beijing Olympics, which is India's best performance in the women's doubles.

*Sania Mirza also made the quarterfinals in the mixed doubles with Leander Paes at the London Olympics in 2012, which is India's best performance in the mixed doubles.





Indian tennis: Fact-file for Rio
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