Friday turned out to be a good day for Indian tennis stars as the duo of Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan-Purav Raja and Rohan Bopanna won their respective matches. Fourth seeds Nedunchezhiyan and Raja beat the unseeded British combine of Luke Bambridge and Joe Salisbury 7-6(2), 6-4 to reach the final of the Play In Challenger in Lille, France.
At the Miami Open in Florida, USA, the unseeded pair of Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin showed nerves of steel to eke out a 4-6, 6-2, 14-12 win over the French-Russian duo of Adrian Mannarino and Daniil Medvedev in the first round.
Jeevan and Purav had a solid showing on their first serves, winning 80% of the points. They were flawless on break point conversion and made use of the only break point that they earned in the second set.
The Indian pair also saved all three of the break points that they faced, denying their opponents any chance of a breakthrough.
In the final, they will take on the unseeded team of Hugo Nys and Tim Puetz, who prevailed over Tomasz Bednarek and Stephane Robert 6-2, 6-3 in the other semi-final.
The Indians had survived a tough opener this week, coming back from a set down to get past Sander Arends and Tristan-Samuel Weissborn 4-6, 6-1, 11-9. They got a walkover in their next round.
Nedunchezhiyan is aiming for his second title of the year, having triumphed at the Dallas Challenger in February. Raja is seeking his first title of any kind this year.
Bopanna ends three-match losing streak
Bopanna brought an end to his three-match losing streak with his first round win in Miami. After reaching the semi-finals in Marseille, the Indo-French pair had been struggling and slumped to first round defeats at both the Dubai Open and at Indian Wells.
The two won 67% of their total service points and 35% of their total return points in the tight opener at Miami. Next up for them are the giant-killers Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey, who upset the top seeds and Wimbledon champions Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo.Published 24 Mar 2018, 03:20 IST