ATP Dubai: Rohan Bopanna and Marcin Matkowski knock out second seeds to enter quarter-finals
Up next for Bopanna and Matkowski are Florin Mergea and Viktor Troicki.
What’s the story?
Indian doubles ace Rohan Bopanna and his Polish partner Marcin Matkowski notched up a big win at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships as they knocked out the second seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers, 5-7, 6-3, 11-9 to enter the quarter-finals on Tuesday. The match lasted 1 hour 24 minutes.
Considering that Dodig and Granollers had won the ATP Rotterdam title just a little over a week back, this was indeed a laudable achievement for the unseeded Indo-Polish pair.
In case you didn’t know..
Bopanna’s success at this prestigious ATP 500 event is not surprising. He already has won the title three times in the last five years and that too, with three different partners. In 2012, Bopanna triumphed with Mahesh Bhupathi, in 2014, he won with Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and he successfully defended the title the very next year alongside Daniel Nestor.
The heart of the matter
Bopanna did start the 2017 season on a good note, winning the title at Chennai, partnering his compatriot Jeevan Nedunchezhyian. He, however, failed to make any impact since then and lost four of his next six matches.
At Dubai, the Indian was able to hold his nerves and show some of those skills that took him to as high as World No. 3 four years ago. Even after narrowly losing the opening set, they made a strong comeback and broke their higher-ranked rivals twice to stretch the match to a deciding tie-break where they edged out the second seeds.
Up next for Bopanna and Matkowski are Florin Mergea and Viktor Troicki. It will be an interesting match to watch since Mergea was one of Bopanna’s previous partners and they won two titles together, besides finishing as runners-up in five other events.
Indian doubles has been pretty quiet this year with none of the ATP stars been able to make any noise since Bopanna’s Chennai title win. Lack of a steady partner has hurt the country’s top doubles exponents and the results are there for all to see.
Here’s hoping the familiar conditions at Dubai inspires Bopanna to make a major statement ahead of the hectic Masters season.