Divij Sharan bags doubles Challenger title

It was the first title of the season for the 31-year-old Divij, and the first with Erlich. The 50th ranked Divij has 15 Challenger doubles titles apart from three Tour events.

Divij Sharan

The title was worth 80 ATP points and $4,650 for the second-seeded Indo-Israel pair of Divij Sharan and Jonathan Erlich.   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Divij Sharan in partnership with Jonathan Erlich of Israel beat the top seeds Hans Podlipnik-Castillo of Chile and Andrei Vasilevski of Belarus 7-6(1), 6-2 in the doubles final of the $75,000 Challenger tennis tournament in Canberra on Friday.

It was the first title of the season for the 31-year-old Divij, and the first with Erlich. The 50th ranked Divij has 15 Challenger doubles titles apart from three Tour events.

"I missed the on-site cut for the ATP tour event in Sydney this week. So, it was a last minute decision to play the ATP challenger in Canberra. Jonathan Erlich has been on the tour for many years and it was fun playing with him for the first time," said Divij.

Divij in partnership with Yuki Bhambri had lost in the semifinals of the ATP Tour event last week back home in Pune. "We had quite a few break points in the second set and things could have turned in our favour had we converted some of those chances," observed Divij, who had beaten the top seeds in partnership with Yuki in Pune.

He recalled another final last year, featuring the same opponents whom he met in Canberra. "Yuki and I lost to Podlipnik and Vasilevski the last time I played them in the finals of the Tashkent Challenger in 2017. Got the win this time," said Divij, quite pleased to get a bunch of matches going into the Australian Open in which he will compete with Rajeev Ram of
the US.

The title was worth 80 ATP points and $4,650 for the second-seeded Indo-Israel pair.

The result: Jonathan Erlich (Isr) & Divij Sharan bt Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (Chi) & Andrei Vasilevski (Blr) 7-6(1), 6-2.