Indian tennis round-up: Rohan Bopanna exits French Open; Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan win in Surbiton Challenger
The Indian challenge at the French Open 2018 came to an end after Rohan Bopanna exited the claycourt Major in the quarter-finals of men’s doubles on Tuesday. The 13th seeded team of Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin went down 6-7(4), 2-6 to the eighth seeds Nikola Mektic and Alexander Peya in 1 hour 32 minutes.
The Madrid Masters champions staved off a stern challenge from the Indo-French combine in the first set, where none of the pairs managed any break of serve. In the second set, they broke the 13th seeds in the very first game, but Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin responded very well with a break straight back.
It all went downhill for the Monte Carlo Masters semi-finalists since then as they struggled on serve and conceded two more service breaks thereafter.
Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin had entered the quarter-finals on the back of a stunning upset win over the top seeds and Wimbledon champions Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo.
The 38-year-old Bangalore resident was the only Indian left standing at the Parisian Major following the departure of Yuki Bhambri and Divij Sharan in the second round. In mixed doubles, none of the Indians were able to cross the first round hurdle.
Bhambri, Ramanathan dazzle on grass
At the Fuzion 100 Surbiton Challenger in London, both Yuki Bhambri and Ramkumar Ramanathan made a winning start. The third seeded Bhambri defeated the World No. 148 Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-4, 7-6(4) in 1 hour 28 minutes to kickstart his grass season on a grand note.
The Australian had shocked Roger Federer in the second round of the Miami Open just three months back.
Ramanathan showed a lot of guts in his 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 win over the second seeded Jordan Thompson. 30 ranking places separate the two, but that could not deter the 121st ranked Ramanathan, who played a brilliant third set, breaking the 91st ranked Australian twice.
In doubles, the top seeded pair of Divij Sharan and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi beat Alex de Minaur and Matt Reid 6-4, 7-6(4).
Ramanathan had double delight on Tuesday after notching up a win in doubles as well. He and Austria’s 37-year-old Jurgen Melzer held their nerves for a tight 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 10-6 comeback win over Taylor Fritz and Mackenzie McDonald.
Purav Raja, however, could not make it a flawless day for India. The third seeds Raja and Fabrice Martin went down 6-7(5), 7-6(4), 7-10 to Joe Salisbury and Adil Shamasdin.