Bopanna, Sharan begin ATP Tour partnership with Maharashtra Open doubles title

Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan found validation for their decision to partner each other in 2019 as they defeated Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara 6-3, 6-4 to clinch the Maharashtra Open doubles title in their first ever outing.

Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan of India coasted to an easy win to clinch the Maharashtra Open men’s doubles title at the Balewadi Tennis Stadium in Pune on Saturday.   -  R. Ragu

Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan clinched the doubles title at the Maharashtra Open with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Luke Bambridge and Jonny O'Mara in Pune on Saturday.

Unlike their last two matches, where they were forced into a Super Tiebreaker, the Indian pair — which made its Tour debut earlier this week — had a much easier ride today.

Bopanna started the match with whizzing cross-court serves and an ace down the line to take the first game. He did one better in the fifth, at 2-2, to take the game to love.

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Apart from a double fault from Sharan in the third game and one from Luke Bambridge in the sixth, the pairs dished out clean serve games to go 3-3.

In the seventh game, the Indian pair came close to being broken for the first time. At deuce, a cross-court volley from Bopanna gave the pair the deciding point and a 4-3 cushion.

After worming their way out in their service game , the Indian pair gave the crowd more joy by breaking Jonny O'Mara's serve and take a timely 5-3 lead. Bopanna made no mistake while serving for the set and sealed it 6-3.

The top-seeded pair, who spoke of the new Foxtenn review system as "just another technology" like the Hawk Eye technology it replaced, seem to have figured out when and how to make use of it.

In their semifinal win yesterday, both of them went for challenges at crucial junctures in the Super Tiebreaker to win match points and they made the right call again in the first game of the second set today.

Bopanna's first serve was called out and then overruled. Buoyed by the call and the boisterous crowd, he then held the opening game to love.

At 2-2, 40-30, Bopanna and Sharan squandered a break point but won the deciding point to put the British pair under pressure for the second time. The tide continued to be in their favour for the next two games. They took one game to love and made a double break point in the other count to take a 5-2 lead.

The British pair broke Sharan's serve right after but it only delayed the inevitable. Playing in his 44th ATP Tour doubles final, Bopanna finished the match the way he started it – serving strong and deep – to take the second set 6-4 and seal the championship.

The result: Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan bt. Luke Bambridge and Jonny O'Mara 6-3, 6-4.