The final Olympic countdown for some of the legends of Indian tennis, namely Sania Mirza and Leander Paes, begins in Rio 2016. There is a serious worry across the board that the talent pool is running dry.

Paes creates – or is being forced to create – history by playing in the Olympics for a record seventh time. With Paes and Mirza having made a mark in the doubles circuit over the years, their experience is paramount to India's hopes of getting anywhere close to winning a medal.

Women's Doubles

Mirza teams up with little-known Prarthana Thombare, a graduate from the former's academy. The duo lost in the Fed Cup recently, but Thombare earned some praise from her senior teammate recently. The road is far from easy. The Williams sisters have been at the top of their game recently. Serena was made to sweat by young Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, but few can match their power and technique in doubles. The Italian duo Sarra Errani and Roberta Vinci are also a formidable pair.

Men's doubles

Rohan Bopanna made a last-minute decision to select Paes as his partner. The 36-year-old Bopanna had the best phase of his career in 2010, reaching the US Open final with Pakistani Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi. Defending champions Bob and Mike Byran are yet again the favourites. Among the seeded teams, there are star-studded names like Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, who will be playing alongside brother Jaime. But experience is what wins matches in big tournaments, and this is where the Bopanna-Paes pair can cause an upset.

The fixtures and the road ahead

The men's doubles and women's doubles both start with a field of 32 players, with the first round matches scheduled for August 6 and 7. The mixed doubles (Mirza and Bopanna) has only 16 participants, and three good matches is all it will take to land a medal. Sania has been a revelation here as well, but only time will tell if participating in two different formats will take a toll on the 29-year-old.