Indian tennis legend Leander Paes lost what will, in all probability, be his last professional match on home soil when he and Australian partner Matthew Ebden went down in the doubles finals of the US $162,500 Bengaluru Open 2020.
The Indo-Australian pair were comprehensively beaten by the all-Indian duo of Purav Raja and Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-0, 6-3 on the penultimate day of the competition at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association Courts in Cubbon Park.
Paes who has chosen to call his swansong "The Last Roar" delighted the crowds at Bengaluru over the last week but failed to end the ATP Challenger event on a high.
Partnering Ebden, the 18-time Grand Slam winner had been impressive in the run-up to the finals after having beaten second seeds Andrei Vasilevski and Jonathan Erlich in the semifinal.
Purav Raja and Ramkumar Ramanathan made it to the final after their opponents had conceded the match. Saketh Myneni and Matt Reid were trailing the all-Indian pair 5-7 when Reid injured himself after a fall early in the second set in Saturday's semifinal.
In the final, Raja and Ramanathan dominated the proceedings and were helped to an extent by their opponent's unforced errors.
Ramkumar Ramanathan opined that it was an honour to share the court with Paes after winning the title.
"It is always an honour to share the court with Leander. I am feeling sad after winning a Challenger that it had to have Leander on the losing side."
To win in tennis itself is tough. And winning is even more tougher when you have some big guns playing. We make a good team and know the strengths and weaknesses of each other and that is what helped us today.”
Meanwhile, in the singles semifinals, Italians Julian Ocleppo and Stefano Travaglia both suffered defeats.
Bonzi's 6-3, 6-4 win has ensured a dream final for the 23-year-old Frenchman who had earlier won the French Open boys doubles title in 2014.Published 15 Feb 2020, 21:56 IST