Divij Sharan and Scott Lipsky crowned European Open champions
Indian tennis ace Divij Sharan and his American partner Scott Lipsky capped their memorable week at the ATP 250 European Open by winning the men’s doubles title in Antwerp, Belgium on Sunday. The unseeded combine needed 1 hour 9 minutes to subdue fellow unseeded pair of Santiago Gonzalez and Julio Peralta, 6-4, 2-6, 10-5 in the summit clash.
This is the third career ATP title for the left-handed Sharan. He had earlier triumphed at Bogota in 2013 and at Los Cabos last year alongside India’s Purav Raja.
This year the two made a grand start to the season by reaching the final at the Chennai Open where they lost to their compatriots Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan. The Indian pair, who split in August, failed to make much of an impact for the rest of the year on the ATP World Tour. The only other time that they made it to a final was in the ATP Challenger circuit in Bordeaux which they won.
Giant-killing run to the final
Sharan teamed up with a number of players since parting ways. At last week’s Tashkent Challenger, he and Yuki Bhambri finished runners-up. The former carried that form and confidence into the European Open this week which was validated by his and Lipsky’s giant-killing run to the final.
The Indo-American duo accounted for the third seeds Rajeev Ram and Raven Klaasen in the quarter-finals and followed it up with an upset win over the second seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers in the semi-finals.
Sharan and Lipsky had 73% of their first serves in the final and secured only a solitary break of serve that came in the seventh game of the first set. They could not continue that momentum in the second set as Gonzalez and Peralta made a stunning comeback to break them twice and denied them even a single break point.
The Indo-American duo rebounded in style in the deciding tie-break to wrap up the win.
Nedunchezhiyan goes down in Ningbo Challenger final
Unlike Sharan, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan had to be content with just the runners-up plate at the $125, 000 Ningbo Challenger in China on Saturday. The Indian was the top seed at this tournament alongside Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia.
But the two failed to do justice to their top billing and went down 5-7, 3-6 to the unseeded team of Radu Albot and Jose Statham in summit showdown that lasted 1 hour 19 minutes. The Indo-Indonesian team failed to make any in-roads into their opponents’ serves and yielded two service breaks.