Rohan Bopanna and his Australian partner Matthew Ebden defeated French duo of Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-6(3), 6-2 to reach the men’s doubles final of the US Open in New York on Thursday.
At 43 years 6 months, Bopanna is the oldest player to reach the men’s doubles Grand Slam final in the Open era. The previous record was held by Canada’s Daniel Nestor who made it to the 2016 Australian Open final with Czech Republic’s Radek Stepanek at the age of 43 years 4 months.
The sixth-seeded Indo-Australian pair dropped serve in the opening set and trailed 2-4 at one point before forcing its way back to take it to tiebreaker. Bopanna and Ebden edged their French opponents to seal the first set 7-6(3).
“When we held after saving a break point to avoid going down a double break in the first set, that was really important,” Bopanna said in his on-court interview. “We got some great energy from the crowd. Back in the final 13 years later for me, so I’m very happy.”
Bopanna reached his second men’s doubles final at a Major, 13 years after he and Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi lost to Mike and Bob Bryan in the 2010 US Open final. The Indian had won mixed doubles crown with Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski at the 2017 French Open.
The second set was much more comfortable for Bopanna and Ebden as they broke Herbert and Mahut in the third and fifth game, respectively to race to a 5-1 lead before closing the match in an hour and 34 minutes.
In the final, Bopanna and Ebden will face two-time defending champions Rajeev Ram (USA) and Joe Salisbury (Great Britain) who beat reigning French Open champions Ivan Dodig (Croatia) and Austin Krajicek (USA) 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in their semifinal.
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