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Team USA guaranteed gold in mixed doubles at Rio Olympics

August 13, 2016 06:35 PM

By McCarton Ackerman, USTA.com

Team USA is guaranteed to win a gold medal in mixed doubles after Venus Williams/Rajeev Ram and Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Jack Sock won their semifinal matches Saturday at the Rio Olympics.

Williams and Ram overcame a slow start to prevail over No. 4 seeds Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna of India, 2-6, 6-2, [10-3]. The Americans broke their opponents in the second set to lead 3-1 and then earned an additional break at 5-2 to force a match tiebreak. The Americans rallied from 1-3 down in the tiebreak to win nine consecutive points and take the match.

Venus is looking for her fifth Olympic gold medal. She won gold in women’s singles at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and teamed with Serena for a gold medal in women’s doubles that year, as well as at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics. Meanwhile, Ram is guaranteed to win his first Olympic medal of any kind this week.

In the other semifinal, Mattek-Sands and Sock defeated the Czech team of Lucie Hradecka and Radek Stepanek, 6-4, 7-6 (3). Both Americans served to stay in the second set but then raced through the first four points of the tiebreak before eventually clinching the win off a volley winner from Mattek-Sands.

Sock is now guaranteed to leave Rio with two medals, having already clinched the bronze in men’s doubles with Steve Johnson. Meanwhile, Mattek-Sands has also secured her first Olympic medal.

Earlier in the day, Madison Keys lost the bronze medal match in women’s singles to Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2. Despite the loss, her semifinal finish in Rio is another outstanding result for the 21-year-old in 2016.

Keys is currently at a career-high WTA ranking of No. 9, which she first reached in June. She won her second WTA title this June in Birmingham, England, and has also finished runner-up at two WTA Premiere events, the Rogers Cup in Montreal and the Internazionali BNL D’Italia in Rome.