Thanks for tuning into Sportstar's live coverage of the 2022 French Open men's doubles semifinal between the Indo-Dutch pair of Rohan Bopanna-Matwe Middelkoop and the duo of Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands. This was Nihit Sachdeva taking you through the action as it unfolded on the Simonne-Mathieu Court at Roland Garros in Paris.
Dutchman Jean-Julien Rojer, 40, becomes the oldest player to reach the Roland Garros men's doubles final in the Open Era. However, for Rohan Bopanna and for India, the campaign at this year's French Open is over.
THIRD SET (* denotes server)
Super tiebreak: Bopanna serves first up and had the chance to finish it with an overhead volley at the net but surprisingly, he sends it wide. Middelkoop with the forehand winner to make it 1-1. Excellent stretch at the net from Rojer to put the volley away. Middelkoop continues to blast the forehand and makes it 2-3 as the return from 12th seeds goes long. Arevalo-Rojer 4-2 up after Bopanna's forehand finding only the net. Crucial forehand winner from Arevalo to go 6-2 up. Must win point for Bopanna and he does clinch it with a massive first serve. Weak backhand from Middelkoop and Rojer hits the volley away to go up 7-3. Bopanna wins the battle of the volleys against Rojer to reduce the deficit to 4-7. Bopanna makes it 5-7 with another volley put away after Middelkoop starts off with a good first serve. Slow second serve from Middelkoop and Rojer sends the backhand return wide - 7-6. Powerful first serve from Rojer, Middelkoop sends the return for an easy backhand put away at the net for Arevalo. Strong serve from Rojer to Bopanna backhand and it is three match points. Bopanna somehow keeps the rally alive and Middelkoop steps in to put the volley away. Brilliant work by Middelkoop under pressure to hit another volley and save two match points. Wide serve from Arevalo and Middelkoop's backhand return goes flying off the court. Arevalo-Rojer win 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8).
Arevalo/Rojer* 6-6 Bopanna/Middelkoop - Jean-Julien Rojer to serve to stay alive in this semifinal. Starts off with a body serve and reaps the reward as Bopanna's backhand return goes long. Under pressure, Middelkoop sends the forehand towards Arevalo who hits the volley into the net. Gorgeous serve and volley by Rojer to go 30-15 up. However, double fault on the very next point and Rojer is under pressure. Rising up to the occasion, Rojer sends the serve down the T, Bopanna runs around it but the return provides Rojer the easiest of the volleys to be put away while the Indian stumbles near the baseline. Bopanna messes up the angled forehand at deuce and it is game point for the 12th seeds. Arevalo puts away the volley on Middelkoop's return and we are headed to a super tiebreak.
Arevalo/Rojer 5 -6 Bopanna/Middelkoop* - Middelkoop with a solid forehand return winner. Strong serve down the T and Arevalo struggles to get the racquet on it. Forehand winner the down the centre from Middelkoop. Arevalo's return goes long and Middelkoop holds.
Arevalo/Rojer* 5-5 Bopanna/Middelkoop - Arevalo to serve to keep the 12th seeds in the set and match. A rather uncharacteristic error from Bopanna who had open court on the right but he sends the forehand long. Forehand cross court winner from Arevalo to go 30-0 up followed by an easy volley put away by Rojer at the net. Three game points. Wide serve from Arevalo and Middelkoop's backhand hits the net.
Arevalo/Rojer 4 -5 Bopanna/Middelkoop* - Bopanna to serve in this crucial ninth game. Good move from Middelkoop following the Indian's serve as he puts away the volley on Rojer's return. Arevalo misses the return as the Indo-Dutch pair goes 30-0 up. Make that 40-0 as Bopanna attacks Rojer's forehand which finally goes long. Error on the backhand return from Arevalo and it is a perfect service hold for the 16th-seeded duo.
Arevalo/Rojer* 4 - 4 Bopanna/Middelkoop - Jean-Julien Rojer to serve. High bounce on the second serve from Rojer and Bopanna messes up on the return after getting distracted from someone moving amongst the spectators. Strong serving from the Dutchman to go 30-0 up. Three game points for the 12th seeds to make it 4-4 and they do it at the first time of asking.
Arevalo/Rojer 3 -4 Bopanna/Middelkoop* - Down the T ace from Middelkoop to go 30-0 up. Body serve from one Dutchman to the other and Rojer sends the return into the net. Excellent service game from Middelkoop as Arevalo's return goes long.
Arevalo/Rojer* 3 - 3 Bopanna/Middelkoop - Arevalo serves. Second serve allows Bopanna to send the return but a low forehand from Arevalo means Middelkoop can't get his volley to go over the net. Variable bounce after Bopanna's backhand down the line draws the error on the forehand from Arevalo. Serve up the T from Arevalo and Bopanna misses the chip. Great serve from Arevalo wide to Middelkoop's left and Rojer finishes the rally off with the volley. Still on serve.
Arevalo/Rojer 2 -3 Bopanna/Middelkoop* - Confusion between Bopanna and Middelkoop once Rojer got his return in and eventually, Arevalo sends the down the line forehand in the empty court. Better serve from Bopanna sets up the volley for Middelkoop. Rare miss on the backhand slice from Rojer. Classic lob by Bopanna goes over Rojer's head and lands well inside the baseline. Thunderbolt of a serve from Bopanna, Rojer somehow sends the ball back only for Middelkoop to finish the point with the simplest of the volleys.
Arevalo/Rojer* 2 - 2 Bopanna/Middelkoop - Rojer with the body serve on Bopanna who's backhand return goes into the net. Middelkoop completely misses the Rojer serve. Heavy cross court forehand return from Bopanna and Arevalo's volley goes long. Middelkoop snatches at the return on Rojer's serve and the ball goes into the stands. Comfortable hold for Arevalo-Rojer.
Arevalo/Rojer 1 -2 Bopanna/Middelkoop* - Middelkoop serves. Arevalo and Rojer try to close in and put Middelkoop under pressure before Rojer himself sends the volley long. Error on the forehand return from Rojer and the Indo-Dutch pair goes 30-15 up. Not for long though as Arevalo's forehand return goes through Middelkoop and Bopanna at the net. Rojer moves to the net after Arevalo sends the cross court forehand return on Middelkoop's serve who finds the forehand down the line winner.
Arevalo/Rojer* 1 - 1 Bopanna/Middelkoop - Arevalo to serve first for the 12th seeded pair. He serves to Bopanna who tries the lob but the ball never makes it past the net. Bopanna sends the forehand long in the next rally. Bopanna puts pressure on Arevalo with the return and Arevalo decides to target Middelkoop at the back with the cross court forehand but sends it long. Big miss from Middelkoop who should have put the volley away. Arevalo-Rojer hold.
Arevalo/Rojer 0 -1 Bopanna/Middelkoop* - Bopanna to serve first in the decider. He starts off in style - ace up the T. Error on the forehand from Arevalo. Return from Rojer goes long and the Indo-Dutch pair is 40-0 up. Easy as you like. Another gun serve from Bopanna and Middelkoop puts away the volley.
SECOND SET (* denotes server)
Arevalo/Rojer* 6 - 3 Bopanna/Middelkoop - Arevalo serving for the set. Lovely serves from Arevalo make it easy for Rojer to end the first two points with volleys at the net. One more and the 12th seeds have three set points. Fourth point follows the script of the previous three and Arevalo-Rojer win the second set 6-3 to take this semifinal to a deciding third set.
Arevalo/Rojer 5 -3 Bopanna/Middelkoop* - Middelkoop serves. Arevalo is fired up as he forces Bopanna to send two volleys into the net and move 30-0 up. Cross court forehand from Arevalo goes long. A sensational forehand return down the line from Rojer and Bopanna is a mere spectator. Good second serve from Middelkoop, Bopanna sends the volley directly at Rojer's feet. Arevalo-Rojer break as the man from El Salvador sends a brilliant cross court winner.
Arevalo/Rojer* 4 - 3 Bopanna/Middelkoop - Matwe Middelkoop with another down the line forehand winner in this match which is soon followed by a cross court forehand winner by Bopanna. Rojer's serve under threat. Arevalo finds the space between Middelkoop and Bopanna to send the volley - that must lift his confidence. My word! Rohan Bopanna with a forehand winner on the edge of the sideline to earn a break point. Middelkoop puts in the return on Rojer's serve whose volley finds Bopanna. Bopanna, out of position, sends the volley into the net. Bopanna misses a rare backhand return which goes into the net - advantage to the 12th seeds. Arevalo and Rojer hold as Middelkoop commits the error on the forehand return.
Arevalo/Rojer 3 -3 Bopanna/Middelkoop* - Bopanna serves. Arevalo sends the volley down the middle but MIDDELkoop sends the return volley bang in Arevalo's face. Serve down the T from Bopanna and volley put away at the net from his Dutch patner - 30-15 up. Break point for Arevalo-Rojer as Bopanna's forehand goes wide. Nerves kick in for Arevalo again as he snatches at the return on Bopanna's serve. Advantage to the Indo-Dutch pair as Bopanna finds the empty court to the right of Rojer at the net. Unbelievable cross court forehand winner from Bopanna after a couple of down the line forehands exchanged with Arevalo. Still on serve.
Arevalo/Rojer* 3 - 2 Bopanna/Middelkoop - Deep backhand down the line return from Middelkoop and Arevalo's cross court forehand only finds the net - 15-all. Bopanna and Middelkoop try to push the pressure by closing in on the net but Rojer finds the empty court with the volley. Bopanna goes with the backhand return, does not work, then switches to forehand rally with Arevalo who ultimately sends one long. Arevalo holds after a nervous game.
Arevalo/Rojer 2 -2 Bopanna/Middelkoop* - Ace out wide from Middelkoop to begin service. Volley from Bopanna finds Rojer in an awkward position and his volley return goes long - 30-0. Rojer puts in the return and races up to the net to put the pressure on fellow Dutchman Middelkoop who hits the forehand into the net. A couple of cross court forehands exchanged between Middelkoop and Arevalo before Arevalo decides to go down the line. Right thinking but just misses the line. Great second serve from Middelkoop and Rojer faults on the return.
Arevalo/Rojer* 2 - 1 Bopanna/Middelkoop - Bopanna giving another glorious backhand return winner for the match highlights. Serve down the centre from Rojer, Middelkoop puts the return on a platter for Arevalo to finish with a volley. Arevalo-Rojer hold. Still on serve in the second set.
Arevalo/Rojer 1 -1 Bopanna/Middelkoop* - Arevalo-Rojer 30-0 up on Bopanna's serve. Great overhead smash from Middelkoop at the net to leave no chance for Rojer to get it. Poor lob from Arevalo and Middelkoop finishes it with another smash. Early backhand return from Rojer and Bopanna's forehand goes into the net. T serve from Bopanna and Arevalo's return goes long - deuce. Another serve up the T from Bopanna, Rojer retrieves, Middelkoop fails to put away the volley but Rojer's lob just goes past the baseline much to the Indo-Czech pair's relief. Bopanna-Middelkoop hold. Just.
Arevalo/Rojer* 1 - 0 Bopanna/Middelkoop - Arevalo to serve first in the second set. A crucial hold to begin for the 12th-seeded pair.
FIRST SET (* denotes server)
Arevalo/Rojer 4 -6 Bopanna/Middelkoop* - Eight-shot rally to begin the 10th game and Rojer comes up with a winning volley to Bopanna's right at the net. Middelkoop, under pressure, hits an ace on the second serve. Rojer with a gem of a point construction - backhand down the line return and a volley to finish. Double fault from Middelkoop and two break points for 12th seeds. Bopanna saves one as his volley on Rojer's return just finds the open court. Heavy second serve from Middelkoop and Arevalo's nervous return goes wide. Ace up the T from Middelkoop and it is set point opportunity. Wide serve from Middelkoop, Arevalo barely manages to send the return only for Bopanna to finish things off in the opening set with a cross court volley.
Arevalo/Rojer* 4 - 5 Bopanna/Middelkoop - Good play from Bopanna who chips the return on Arevalo's serve, charges to the net to put pressure on him and draws out the error as Arevalo eventually hits one into the net. Apart from that, decent serving from Arevalo to close out the game. Middelkoop to serve for the set.
Arevalo/Rojer 3 -5 Bopanna/Middelkoop* - Rohan Bopanna to serve with the new ball. Rojer manages to get the return in on Bopanna's second serve, engages him in a rally and finishes the point with an easy put away at the net. Great hands from Rojer at the net to surprise Middelkoop who definitely didn't expect a volley. Middelkoop rectifies his mistake by targeting Arevalo in the next rally and the ball hits the man from El Salvador in the foot. A fired-up Bopanna hits two aces as the Indo-Dutch pair holds to lead 5-3.
Arevalo/Rojer* 3 - 4 Bopanna/Middelkoop - Matwe Middelkoop is in some form today as he hits a lovely cross court backhand return on Rojer's serve to make it 15-all. A clean backhand down the line from Bopanna and the Indo-Dutch pair moves ahead 30-15. Bopanna had it but somehow put the volley into the net. Body serve from Rojer on Bopanna works as the return lands into the net. Rojer escapes as Middelkoop's return goes flying off the court.
Arevalo/Rojer 2 -4 Bopanna/Middelkoop* - Middelkoop serving to his compatriot Rojer whose return just misses the line. An ace from the Dutchman to lead 30-0. Bopanna sends the volley between the two players on the next point and the 16th seeds have three game points. One gone courtesy of a Middelkoop double fault. No worries as Jean-Julien Rojer's volley goes wide and Bopanna-Middelkoop hold.
Arevalo/Rojer* 2 - 3 Bopanna/Middelkoop - Arevalo serves and in no time, the 12th seeds are 30-0 up. Not for long though as Rojer messes up a volley and then, Middelkoop comes up with a beautiful forehand return on the next to make it 30-all. First deuce of this men's doubles semifinal. Gun serve from Arevalo leads to a long return from Bopanna. This time, a wide serve and Middelkoop barely gets his racquet on it.
Arevalo/Rojer 1 -3 Bopanna/Middelkoop* - Bopanna serves. Decent return from Rojer and his fellow Dutchman Middelkoop puts the volley into the net. Middelkoop somehow gets the volley on the net to find an empty spot on the court. Powerful serves from Bopanna to go 40-15 up. Rojer's return goes long. Bopanna-Middelkoop consolidate the break.
Arevalo/Rojer* 1 - 2 Bopanna/Middelkoop - Opportunity for the Indo-Dutch pair as it takes a 30-15 lead on Rojer's serve. Break point for the 16th seeds at 40-30 courtesy of two sensational backhand returns from Bopanna. Middelkoop sends the return over Arevalo's head but it lands in. Bopanna-Middelkoop break.
Arevalo/Rojer 1 - 1 Bopanna/Middelkoop* - Middelkoop to serve first from the Indo-Dutch pair. Rojer's return goes long on a strong first serve from Middelkoop. However, a brilliant cross court forehand on the following point from Rojer gives no chance to Bopanna at the net. Bopanna-Middelkoop hold.
Arevalo/Rojer* 1 - 0 Bopanna/Middelkoop - Arevalo serves first up and return from Bopanna is easily put away with a volley at the net from Arevalo. Middelkoop's return on the next goes off cout. First rally of the match and it ends with Middelkoop's attempted volley hitting the net. Bopanna tries to stay in the rally with a lob but it goes long and Arevalo-Rojer hold comfortably.
Warm up is done. Game time!
3:48 PM: TOSS - Arevalo and Rojer win the toss and elect to serve.
3:45 PM: Both pairs waiting eagerly to step on court. Live action shortly.
3:40 PM: ICYMI, Rohan Bopanna had reflected on his season so far and his plans for Roland Garros preparation at the start of the clay court season: Here's the full interview:
3:20 PM: Few minutes to go for this exciting clash. Who do you think will triumph?
3:10 PM: Let's know a little bit about Bopanna and Middelkoop's opponents today - Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands.
Arevalo and Rojer have won two ATP250 titles this year - Dallas and Delray Beach. At the French Open, they have had a fairly comfortable run to the semis -
3 PM: Win would also take Bopanna to only his second-ever men's doubles final at a Slam. His previous and only appearance in a men's doubles final at a Major came back in 2010 when the Indo-Pak Express of Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi lost to Bryan brothers at the US Open in the summit clash.
2:50 PM: If Bopanna and Middelkoop win today, Bopanna will be the first Indian since Leander Paes to reach the men's doubles final at Roland Garros. Paes and Czech Republic's Lukas Dlouhy, after winning the title in 2009, lost to Serbian-Canadian pair of Nenad Zimonjic and Daniel Nestor in the final the following year.
2:40 PM: Rohan Bopanna and his Dutch partner Matwe Middelkoop have had a memorable run so far at this year's French Open and they'll hope it goes all the way when they face Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador and Jean-Julien Roger of the Netherlands in the semifinal today.
Rohan Bopanna and his Dutch partner Matwe Middelkoop take on 12th seeds Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands in the first men's doubles semifinal of the 2022 French Open on the Simonne-Mathieu Court at Roland Garros in Paris on Thursday.
Bopanna, 42, and Matwe Middelkoop, 38, reached their first-ever men's doubles semifinals at the clay Major on Monday after the duo came from behind to beat the British-Finnish pair of Lloyd Glasspool and Henri Heliovaara.
The 16th-seeded pair defeated Glasspool and Heliovaara 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (3) in two hours four minutes.
Bopanna and Middelkoop reached the quarterfinals after saving five match points in a thrilling 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (10) third-round win over second-seeded Croatians Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic. Earlier, they had won their first and second round matches against local wild cards Sascha Gueymard Wayenburg and Luca Van Assche (6-4, 6-1), and the Kazakh-French pair of Andrey Golubev and Fabrice Martin (6-3, 6-4), respectively in straight sets.
Bopanna has reached the men's doubles semifinals of a Major for the first time since Wimbledon 2015.
The last Indian to win a men's doubles title at a Grand Slam is Leander Paes who lifted the trophy along with Czech Republic's Radek Stepanek at the 2013 US Open while the last Indian to win a Grand Slam title is Bopanna himself who, along with Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski, clinched the mixed doubles crown at the 2017 French Open.
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