Sania's first round exit from French Open puts her London Olympics dreams in jeopardy

Sania Mirza’s first round loss in the French Open doubles has not only brought at end to her doubles campaign at Roland Garros it has also put her Olympics hopes in jeopardy. “In a big blow to India's medal hopes at the London Olympics, Sania Mirza crashed out of the women doubles event of the French Open with a first round defeat along with her partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands, here on Tuesday. Sania, who is world No. 10 in the individual doubles ranking, needed to stay in top-10 before the June 11 cut-off mark to make a direct entry into the women's doubles draw of the Olympics,” says a report in The Times Of India.

“A place in the main draw of the women's doubles or singles would have given Sania a place in the mixed doubles event at the London Games where she was expected to partner with Mahesh Bhupathi. And for that she needed to defend 1400 points at the Roland Garros, where she was a finalist last year. But after Tuesday’s 3-6, 6-4, 5-7 upset defeat against Nina Bratchikova of Russia and Edina Gallovits-Hall of Romania it will be quite difficult for Sania to stay in the top-10 bracket. Only a top-10 player makes a direct entry into the Olympics with a privilege to choose partner, irrespective of his/her ranking,” adds the paper.

A report in Indian Express adds that such is the state of Indian women tennis that next best player after Sania is Rushmi Chakravathi, who is ranked 514 in the doubles. Their combined ranking would not take them anywhere close to the qualification mark. Now only a wild card entry can ensure Sania's place in the singles draw of the Olympics. If All India Tennis Association manages to get that, only then she can play in the mixed doubles event at London.

AITA, which has applied for a singles wild card for Sania, was cautious in reacting to her defeat. “Let's see what happens. We will see what to do,” was all AITA secretary general Anil Khanna had to say.

Meanwhile Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova, seeking the only Grand Slam she has never won, both raced into the second round of the French Open on Tuesday with emphatic wins. Nadal overcame a second-set blip as he thrashed Italian journeyman Simone Bolelli 6-2, 6-2, 6-1.

Later among the men, Andy Murray was starting his campaign against Japan's Tatsuma Ito. Winning through was Spanish sixth seed David Ferrer, who dismissed Slovakia's Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-4, 6-1.

Among the women, Sharapova was one of three former Grand Slam champions to advance . Sharapova humiliated Romania's Alexandra Cadantu 6-0, 6-0.

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitovav, the fourth-seeded Czech, thrashed Australia's Ashleigh Barty 6-1, 6-2.