Divij Sharan clinches St. Petersburg doubles title

The Indian, partnering Slovakia’s Igor Zelenay, wins his fifth title in the ATP Tour.

File Photo: This was Divij Sharan’s third title this season.   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Divij Sharan and partner Igor Zelenay clinched the men’s doubles title at the USD 1,248,665 ATP Tour tennis tournament in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Sunday. In the final, they defeated the Italian pair of Matteo Berrettini and Simone Bolelli 6-3, 3-6, 10-8.

The champion team collected 250 ATP points and USD 66,740. The runners-up won 150 points and USD 34,200.

It was the fifth Tour doubles title for the 33-year-old Divij, who had started the season brightly, winning the Maharashtra Open ATP title in Pune with Rohan Bopanna.

Divij and Bopanna, who had won the Asian Games gold last year in Palembang, had tried to compete together in the professional circuit in the first quarter of the season, but opted to partner others later in an attempt to get into the bigger events.

It was the third title of the season for Divij, who had won the USD 125,000 Ningbo Challenger a fortnight ago with Matthew Ebden of Australia. The 49th-ranked Divij has so far won 16 Challenger and 19 Futures doubles titles, apart from the five Tour titles.

Interestingly, Divij and Bopanna had beaten the Italian pair of Berrettini and Bolelli for the only success in the Davis Cup tie against the Italians on grass in Kolkata earlier in the season.

Turning the tide

In the finals on Sunday, it was the Italians who led 5-2 in the super tie-break and stretched it to 8-7. The Indo-Slovakian pair turned the tide in their favour by winning the next three points and pocketing the title.

Earlier, in the semifinals, Divij and his partner ousted top seeds Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor of Croatia 7-5, 6-1.

The results
  • USD 1,248,665 ATP, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Doubles (final): Igor Zelenay (Svk) & Divij Sharan bt Matteo Berrettini & Simone Bolelli (Ita) 6-3, 3-6, 10-8;
  • Semifinals: Igor Zelenay & Divij Sharan bt Nikola Mektic & Franko Skugor (Cro) 7-5, 6-1.

  • USD 46,600 Challenger, Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • Doubles (semifinals): Jamie Murray (GBR) & John-Patrick Smith (Aus) bt Marek Gengel (Cze) & Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-2, 6-3.

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