Mixed Doubles Action from Rio on Thursday. Rafa/Garbine withdraw.
The curse of the top seeds continued in Rio as three of the four seeds were sent packing in the opening round of the Mixed Doubles.
Third seeds Rafael Nadal and Garbine Murguruza withdrew from the event before hitting a ball. Nadal is in medal contention for both the Men’s Singles and Doubles and the strain of playing so many matches in such a short space of time will have taken a toll.
Nadal had hinted after the men’s doubles that chasing medals in all three disciplines was not a viable proposition.
“No, no, that’s impossible.” He added: “My only priority is that I have a silver medal for sure. For us, it’s a dream come true.
Top Seeds Fall
Top seeds Caroline Garcia and Nicolas Mahut went down in two tie-break sets to surprise Brazilian package Teliana Pereira and Marcelo Melo.
Second seeds Kristina Mladenovic and Pierre-Hugues Herbert followed a similar fate, going down 10-8 in a deciding super tiebreak to Roberta Vinci and Fabio Fognini of Italy.
Williams and Ram Win a Gruelling Encounter
Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram kept the stars and stripes banner flying but it took an intense effort. The match against the Dutch pairing of Kiki Bertens and Jean-Julien Rojer went to the wire, with the American pair prevailing 10-8 in a super tiebreak after two hotly contested tiebreak sets where the spoils were shared.
Murray and Watson advance to the Quarters
Heather Watson and Andy Murray weren’t in the initial draw for the Mixed Doubles due to their combined ranking not being high enough. Watson had already packed her bags to head home before the withdrawal of Romanians Florin Mergea and Monica Niculescu meant they could compete.
Watson was superb in the 6-3 6-3 win over Spanish pairing Carla Suarez Navarro and David Ferrer and the British tandem progress to the Quarter Finals with genuine medal hopes.
Heather Watson / Andy Murray (GBR) bt Carla Suarez Navarro / David Ferrer (ESP) 6-3 6-3
Teliana Pereira / Marcelo Melo (BRA) bt Caroline Garcia / Nicolas Mahut (FRA)  7-6(4) 7-6(4)
Sania Mirza / Rohan Bopanna (IND)  bt Samantha Stosur / John Peers (AUS) 7-5 6-4
Venus Williams / Rajeev Ram (USA) bt Kiki Bertens / Jean-Julien Rojer (NED) 6-7(4) 7-6(3) 10-8
Bethanie Mattek-Sands / Jack Sock (USA) bt Johanna Konta / Jamie Murray (GBR) 6-4 6-3
Irina-Camelia Begu / Horia Tecau (ROU) bt Agnieszka Radwanska / Lukasz Kubot (POL) 4-6 7-6(1) 10-8
Roberta Vinci / Fabio Fognini (ITA) bt Kristina Mladenovic / Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA)  6-4 3-6 10-8
Lucie Hradecka / Radek Stepanek (CZE) bt Garbine Muguruza / Rafael Nadal (ESP)  walkover