World tennis’ most famous star Serena Williams of United States says Indian doubles specialist Sania Mirza has the ability to turn on the magic in the company of any partner.
Serena, the winner of four Olympic golds, says Mirza could make it to the podium in this Olympic Games if she finds her touch in the t competition that gets underway on Saturday. Mirza is currently the highest ranked woman doubles player, having stamped her authority in Grand Slam and other top notch tournaments.
In grand slam tournaments, Mirza’s partnership with Martina Hingis of Switzerland have been performing constantly. “She’s a great doubles player who knows how to win Grand Slam titles. She’s had a wonderful career as a singles player too,” said Serena, asserting that it was always special to play in the Olympics.
Serena said Mirza would be a formidable challenger, even if she would go into the doubles competition at the Olympic with new partners.
“Sania can be with any partner and she will do a wonderful job,” said Serena, whose sister and women’s doubles partner Venus Williams called the Olympics as a ‘surreal experience.’
In mix doubles, Mirza will pair up with young player Rohan Bopanna. They are highly rated in this competition . But in doubles, Saina has to compete with Prarthana Thombare. Two Williams sister have teamed up to win the women’s doubles gold medal thrice, while Serena also goes into the Rio de Janeiro singles competition as the defending champion.
“It’s always special to be at the Olympics. That’s one of the reasons we fight so hard to try to get back and get a medal for our country,” said Serena. “When I held my first gold medal, it was really feeling I never expected because of so many great athletes,” she added.
“I really had an opportunity to truly enjoy and appreciate my gold medal probably more than a lot of my other trophies,” Serena said. Back to defend her singles title, she says: “It’s really great that I’ve had an opportunity to win a gold medal in singles.”
“Honestly, I think a little bit it takes some pressure off, knowing that I’ve won a gold medal (in singles),” she said. Serena was surprised that some athletes in the different sport were skipping the Rio de Janeiro competition. “I never got the impression that people weren’t coming for the money. In sport, we are always really appreciative of every opportunity that we get,” said Serena.