Leander Paes ended India's 16-year wait for an Olympic medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and 8 years later was on the cusp of a second medal. Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi had dominated World Tennis as a doubles pairing and reached the No. 1 ranking in 1999. Both won multiple Grand Slams in the 8 years between Atlanta and Athens and entered the draw as one of the favourites for Gold. The Indian Express though would return without a medal in heartbreaking fashion with Bhupathi and Paes losing a titanic Bronze medal match to Croatia's Mario Ancic and Ivan Ljubicic.