Tennis ace Sania Mirza today asserted that India's best chance of winning a medal in the sport at the upcoming Rio Olympic Games lies in mixed doubles. The 29-year-old Sania, who is ranked world number one in women's doubles, will be partnering Rohan Bopanna in mixed doubles in the sporting extravaganza starting August 5.
Sania was speaking to reporters at the launch of her autobiography titled 'Ace Against Odds' here. She was accompanied by actor Parineeti Chopra, who has become a good friend of the tennis star of late. While she seemed optimistic about India's chances in mixed doubles, Sania said it would be unfair to expect too much from her women's double partner Prarthana Thombare.
"Prarthana is a young girl. It is really unfair to just expect her to go there and compete against the best players in the world; I think that the experience for her would be great. I think we will try and get a medal if we can. Hopefully, in the next Olympics, she will get a medal for us. "I feel that mixed doubles is where our hopes truly lie in," Sania said.
The most successful female tennis player from India, Sania recalled the crisis around team selection ahead of the 2012 London Olympics, and has also expressed her disappointment. She is, however, satisfied with the team selected for Rio Games and sought to clear the "misconception" that they only represent the country in Olympics, and not in major tournaments including Grand Slams.
"The team that has been announced we are very happy with that. Obviously playing Wimbledon is very important for me. You people might think that when we play for Olympics it is only then that we play for India, but we always play for India whether it is during Olympics, or Wimbledon or the US Open.
"It is a misconception that we will play for India only in Rio. In Rio too, we will give our best to get a medal," she said. Ahead of the Delhi release, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Wednesday launched the autobiography in Hyderabad. The book captures Sania's journey of becoming world's number one player in women's doubles and the difficulties and challenges faced by her in realising her dream.