The daunting task in tennis for the doubles masters

The challenge for the Indian tennis players to win medals in the men’s and women’s doubles got a bit of clarity with the announcement of the seeds for the Olympics.

Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna will be India's prime hope for a medal in tennis in Rio.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

The challenge for the Indian tennis players to win medals in the men’s and women’s doubles got a bit of clarity with the announcement of the seeds for the Olympics.

While the much-accomplished Williams sisters, Serena and Venus would attempt to retain the women’s doubles title as the top seeds, the pair of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France will be the top seeds among the men.

Leander Paes, who was not even in the top-100 when he won that bronze medal behind Andre Agassi and Sergi Bruguera in the Atlanta Olympics, and Rohan Bopanna who had reached a career-best No.3 in doubles, will attempt to face the odds in tandem and strike telling blows against quality teams.

>READ: Djokovic and Serena top seeds at Rio

In women’s doubles, world No.1 Sania Mirza, who had competed with Sunitha Rao in the Beijing Olympics and with Rushmi Chakravarthi in the London Games, with remarkable spirit, will attempt to set a higher standard,in partnership with Prarthana Thombare.

It may be recalled that Sania not only won the Asian Games bronze with Prarthana in Incheon in 2014, but has prepared her the whole season this time, with calculated exposure in tournaments around the world and diligent training at her Academy in Hyderabad.

The seedings:

Men’s doubles: 1. Pierre-Hugues Herbert & Nicolas Mahut (Fra), 2. Andy Murray & Jamie Murray (GBR), 3. Marcelo Melo & Bruno Soares (Bra), 4. Gael Monfils & Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Fra), 5. Florin Mergea & Horia Tecau (Rou), 6. Marc Lopez & Rafael Nadal (Esp), 7. Daniel Nestor & Vasek Pospisil (Can), 8. Roberto Bautista Agut & David Ferrer (Esp).

Women’s doubles: 1. Serena Williams & Venus Williams (US), 2. Caroline Garcia & Kristina Mladenovic (Fra), 3. Hao-Ching Chan & Yung-Jan Chan (Tpe), 4. Garbine Muguruza & Carla Suzrez Navarro (Esp), 5. Timea Bacsinszky & Martina Hingis (Sui), 6. Andrea Hlavakova & Lucie Hradecka (Cze), 7. Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina (Rus), 8. Sara Errani & Roberta Vince (Ita).