Tokyo Olympics: Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina lost their match against Ukrainian twin sisters Nadiia and Liudmyla Kichenok

Sania and Raina appeared to be racing away with the match after bageling their opponents, but the Kichenok twins came back from the dead to win 0-6 7-6(0) 10-8 at Ariake Tennis Centre’s court 11.

Despite dominating a major portion of their women’s doubles match against Ukrainian twin sisters Nadiia and Liudmyla Kichenok here on Sunday, Sania Mirza and debutant Ankita Raina were eliminated from the Tokyo Olympics.

Sania and Raina appeared to be racing away with the match after bageling their opponents, but the Kichenok twins came back from the dead to win 0-6 7-6(0) 10-8 at Ariake Tennis Centre’s court 11.

In the second set, Sania was serving for the match at 5-3, but nerves got the best of her as she dropped her serve.

It was no longer the same match after that, with the Ukrainians looking out of sorts and struggling with their serves and returns.

The Indians became prey for the Ukrainians, who pounced on them.

Sania and Raina were behind 1-8 in the Super Tiebreak but scored seven straight points to tie the game at 8-8, only to lose the next two points and depart the Games.

In the second game of the competition, the Indians defeated the Ukrainians to take a 2-0 lead. Following that, the Indians had a string of holds, but their opponents had a string of drops. Mirza and Raina had won the first set in just 21 minutes.

When Raina’s backhand return went over the baseline in the second game of the second set, the Kichenok sisters finally got on board.

In the third game, Raina went up 40-15, but he crushed a forehand return on the net, and Mirza fumbled at the net to come to a deuce point. The young Indian maintained his composure to serve out the game with a string of straight points. The Ukrainians were in trouble after Nadiia’s two double faults, but they pulled out unscathed thanks to some great net-play, tying the game at 2-2.

Sania earned a breakpoint in the sixth game with a devastating forehand winner, but Raina’s backhand reply was despatched for a drop volley winner. India had another opportunity, but Raina netted her backhand from the baseline.

The Indians got another chance with Sania’s backhand to serve return winner, and they didn’t waste it this time, going up 4-2. Raina got an easy hold in the following game, and they were only one game away from the second round.

Sania was serving for the match when she was 15-30, but she saved the match with a well-timed lob. However, she made two consecutive blunders, the second of which was a long backhand, to giving the Ukrainians their first break.

The match took a dramatic turn after that, with the Ukrainians taking command.

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