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ATP Lyon: Rohan Bopanna, Purav Raja and Divij Sharan reach quarter-finals

302   //    22 May 2018, 14:55 IST

2018 Australian Open - Day 14
Rohan Bopanna

Indian tennis players have made a great start to their campaign at the ATP 250 tournament in Lyon, France with all three of Rohan Bopanna, Purav Raja and Divij Sharan winning their first round matches with their respective partners. The second seeded pair of Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin fought back from a set down to edge the all-French combine of Gregoire Barrere and Tristan Lamasine 3-6, 6-1, 10-5 in exactly an hour to advance to the quarter-finals on Monday.

The unseeded Indo-French pair of Purav Raja and Fabrice Martin too had to work hard to defeat Hans Podlipnik-Castillo 7-6(6), 7-6(5) in 1 hour 48 minutes. If Bopanna and Raja win one more round, they are slated to face each other in the semi-finals.

A day earlier, Divij Sharan and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, also unseeded, put up a brilliant performance to oust the top seeds Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-4, 6-2.

For Bopanna, India’s highest ranked doubles player at 24th, this was a much needed win. The Indo-French pair had been on a three-match losing streak coming into this tournament, having suffered opening round exits at the Madrid Masters and the Rome Masters.

They struggled even in the initial stages of their match at Lyon, dropping their serve once to concede the first set. But they managed to regroup after that and broke their opponents twice in the next set to eventually seal the win in a match tie-break.

Bopanna is the defending mixed doubles champion at Roland Garros this year. He won two rounds in men’s doubles in 2017 before bowing out in the Round of 16.

The 32-year-old Sharan has been in good form this year. He has reached four semi-finals on the ATP Tour, the most recent of which came at the Istanbul Open earlier this month. He has won a Challenger title in January.

Purav Raja hasn’t had a confidence-boosting run this year, falling in five of his last six matches. He is looking to build some rhythm before heading to Paris for the French Open, that begins May 27.

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A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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