'Sania should play from ad court'

Leander Paes should stick to the deuce court and Sania Mirza should support him from the left side with her “solid ground strokes” when they compete in the mixed doubles event of the London Olympics, Indian team captain SP Misra has suggested.

Sania’s preferred court-side, like Paes, is the deuce (right side) and she is keen that she plays in Olympics from that side of the court. The two players are yet to decide on the choice of the court side and work out a strategy for the big event.

The seven-member Indian tennis contingent will assemble in London on July 23. Sania had played from the left side (advantage court) at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the duo had crashed out in the quarterfinals after losing to Scotland’s Colin Fleming and Jocelyn Rae.

But they were gold-medallists at the 2006 Doha Asian Games. Misra, who is also the tennis team’s leader at the Olympics, feels that Paes should continue to play from the right side. “Sania has solid ground strokes. I feel she should play from the ad court. Sania returns well also, so she should support Leander from that side. Leander has always played from the deuce court and that is his strength,” Misra told PTI.

“I have never seen Leander playing from the ad court. He has played with different partners in his career from Martina Navratilova to Lisa Raymond to Elena Vesnina but he has always played from right side,” he added.

Paes and Sania have not played together since the 2010 CWG and when they had played at the Delhi Games, where they played in each other’s company after four years.

The Davis Cup non-playing captain also felt that Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna too stand a good chance to win a medal for the country.

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