Monte Carlo Masters: Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas upset French Open champions to win title
Indian tennis ace Rohan Bopanna and his Uruguayan partner, Pablo Cuevas made a dream start to the European clay season by clinching the 2017 Monte Carlo Masters at the Principality of Monaco on Sunday. The unseeded pair dropped a set but played a spectacular match tie-break to edge the seventh seeds and reigning French Open champions Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez, 6-3, 3-6, 10-4 for the title.
This is the Indian's 16th career title and his second of the season, having started 2017 with the Chennai Open crown where India’s Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan was his partner. Bopanna reached yet another final at Dubai where he and Poland’s Marcin Matkowski went down to the former Wimbledon champions Jean-Julien Roger and Horia Tecau in the match tie-break.
First title for the team
Bopanna and Cuevas had joined forces at the ATP Sydney in January and this was just their fifth outing together this season. They had proved to be the giant-killers at Monte Carlo all week as they toppled both the top seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers as well as the fifth seeds Rajeev Ram and Raven Klaasen.
Bopanna and Cuevas started the final brilliantly and broke the seventh seeds to go up to 4-1. They maintained that solitary break lead to pocket the opener, 6-3. All throughout the set, they did not even face a single break point.
It was a different picture in the second set as the Spanish team came storming back to make inroads into their unseeded rivals' serve to surge to a 4-1 advantage. Bopanna and Cuevas were presented with two break point opportunities none of which they could convert.
In the match tie-break, the Indo-Uruguayan pair opened up an incredible 6-0 lead to put early pressure on the French Open champions. Lopez and Lopez managed to get four quick points after that but that did nothing to disrupt the rhythm of the Indo-Uruguayan combine, who soared to 8-4 and quickly wrapped up the match.
Nadal seeks his 10th Monte Carlo title
In the singles final which will follow soon, the King of Clay Rafael Nadal will be aiming for a historic 10th title at the Monte Carlo Masters when he takes on his compatriot, the 15th seeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Rafa has a 2-0 head-to-head record over his fellow lefty, who has reached an ATP Masters 1000 final for the first time in his career.