French Open 2018: Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin upset top seeds to enter quarter-finals
A day after seeing the defence of his mixed doubles title ending in the first round, Indian tennis ace Rohan Bopanna bounced back to knock out the top seeds in men’s doubles alongside France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin at the French Open 2018 in Paris on Saturday. The 13th seeded pair took an hour and 30 minutes to prevail over the reigning Wimbledon champions, Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 6-4, 7-6(1).
Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin will next take on the eighth seeds Alexander Peya and Nikola Mektic in the quarter-finals.
The Polish-Brazilian combine of Kubot and Melo hadn’t been in the best of form since capturing their only title of the season at the Sydney International in January. They failed to reach a semi-final at any of the ATP Masters 1000 tournaments on clay this year.
Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin, on the other hand, made it to the semi-finals in Monte Carlo and did not drop a set on their way to the third round at Roland Garros.
The difference in the confidence levels of the two teams was evident right from the beginning of the match. Both Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin were very sharp on returns and got their first break of the duel in the seventh game to go up to 4-3 before closing out the first set.
The second set turned out to be more competitive. The 13th seeds once again drew first blood, but, this time, the top seeds responded with a break of serve.
Neither team had any more service breakthrough and the set reached the tie-break, where a dominant Bopanna produced his fiery forehands and delicate netplay to dash all hopes of Kubot and Melo.
Bopanna remains the last Indian standing at the French capital, following the defeat of Yuki Bhambri and Divij Sharan in the second round of men’s doubles. In mixed doubles, he and Timea Babos, runners-up at the Australian Open 2018, were outplayed by John Peers and Shuai Zhang in Round 1.
Sharan and Shuko Aoyama also went down in the same round to veterans, Katarina Srebotnik and Santiago Gonzalez, despite having a one-set lead.