India's Rohan Bopanna and Netherlands' Matwe Middelkoop lost to the duo of Jean-Julien Rojer and Marcelo Arevalo in the semifinals of the 2022 French Open on Thursday. At 40 years of age, Rojer became the oldest men's doubles finalist in Roland Garros history.
Rohan Bopanna/Matwe Middelkoop vs Jean-Julien Rojer/Marcelo Arevalo Score
Rojer and Arevalo defeated their opponents 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8).
Rohan Bopanna/Matwe Middelkoop vs Jean-Julien Rojer/Marcelo Arevalo Winner
With the win, Rojer advanced to his third Grand Slam final in men's doubles. He won the 2015 Wimbledon and the 2017 US Open titles. He also has a mixed doubles title under his belt, at the 2014 French Open. For Arevalo, he will be making his first appearance at a Major final in men's doubles, although he was a runner-up in mixed doubles at the US Open last year.
Bopanna was aiming to reach his second Grand Slam final in men's doubles, having previously made it to the title round of the 2010 US Open. He remains the last Indian player to win a Grand Slam title, winning the mixed doubles event at the 2017 French Open.
As far as the men's doubles is concerned, Leander Paes' victory at the 2013 US Open was the last time an Indian man triumphed in the category.
Rohan Bopanna/Matwe Middelkoop vs Jean-Julien Rojer/Marcelo Arevalo Recap
Both teams started off on a strong note with comfortable service holds. With the score tied at 30-30 in the third game of the first set, a couple of winners from Bopanna and Middelkoop secured them a break of serve to lead 2-1.
Neither team got a whiff of a break point over the next six games as they comfortably defended their serve. Bopanna and Middelkoop faced a couple of break points as they served for the set at 5-4, but an error from their opponents, followed by an ace and a backhand winner, sealed the opening set in their favor.
The second set was tightly contested with the score reaching 3-3. Bopanna and Middelkoop faced break points in the second and sixth games of the set, but withstood the pressure. They had an opportunity to nab a break in the seventh game of the set, but Rojer and Arevalo held firm to lead 4-3.
The Indo-Dutch combine finally crumbled in the next game to fall 5-3 behind, with Rojer and Arevalo comfortably serving out the set to level the match.
The deciding set was tense, but both teams produced a fine display of tennis. Neither team budged in the slightest and forced a tie-break.
Bopanna and Middelkoop were on the backfoot in the tie-break right from the start, eventually trailing 6-2. They fought hard to make it 6-7, but Rojer and Arevalo won the next two points to arrive at three match points at 9-6.
The Indo-Dutch duo saved the first couple of match points, but a backhand error on the third match point sent Rojer and Arevalo into the final. They'll take on either the fourth-seeded duo of Horatio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers or the team of Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek in the title round.
It was a heartbreaking loss for Rohan Bopanna and Matwe Middelkoop, who played quite well but came up short in the end. A maiden Grand Slam title in men's doubles continues to elude the two of them. But there are a of positives to be taken from their French Open campaign this year and if they continue playing this way, they'll soon be a part of the winner's circle.