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Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan clinch Tata Open Maharashtra title

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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104   //    06 Jan 2019, 02:39 IST

Rohan Bopanna (left) and Divij Sharan
Rohan Bopanna (left) and Divij Sharan

Indian tennis had a grand start to the 2019 season with Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan triumphing at the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune on Saturday. The top-seeded Indian pair needed only 1 hour 3 minutes to pull off a 6-3, 6-4 win over the all-British pair of Luke Bambridge and Jonny O' Mara in a one-sided final.

Bopanna dropped only four points on his serve and the pair won 78% of their first serves. They conceded only one break point in the entire match that came in the second set.

Their return game wasn’t too shabby either as they managed to convert two out of the three break points that they earned.

This was the fourth ATP Tour title for Divij Sharan while for the 37-year-old Bopanna, this was his 18th. Bopanna had previously won this tournament in 2017 when it used to be staged in Chennai.

Saturday's achievement ended a long title drought for Bopanna who last tasted glory in Vienna in October of 2017. Even though Sharan performed consistently last year, the 32-year-old southpaw failed to reach a final in 2018. The Tata Open is the first title for the World No. 39 since his Antwerp success in 2017.

Bopanna and Sharan had a dream start to their partnership last year when they conquered the Asian Games. That convinced them to join forces for the 2019 season. They simply picked up from there this week, winning four matches en route to the title, even though they had to dig deep in the quarter-finals and semi-finals.

Against the pair of Leander Paes and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela, the top seeds had to save as many as six match points to carve out a 6-7(4), 6-4, 17-15 win in the last-eight clash. In the semi-finals too, Bopanna and Sharan came back from the brink for a 6-3, 3-6, 15-13 win.

They will now be looking to continue their winning streak at ATP Sydney next week before heading to the Australian Open.

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