Rohan Bopanna and partner Denis Shapovalov prevail to reach quarterfinals | ATP 250 Marseille Open 2020

Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov
Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov

What's the story?

Indian tennis ace Rohan Bopanna and his partner Denis Shapovalov made it through to the men's doubles quarterfinals at the ATP 250 Marseille Open.

In case you didn't know

Rohan Bopanna is India's highest ranked men's doubles player on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tour with a current ranking of 37. Although he started of as a singles player, he is now solely concentrating on doubles.

He won the 2017 French Open mixed-doubles title with Gabriela Dabrowski becoming the fourth Indian player to win a Grand Slam title. He also reached the 2010 US Open men's doubles final with Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and the 2018 Australian Open mixed doubles final with Timea Babos.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics, playing alongside Sania Mirza, he had come very close to winning a medal for India in the mixed doubles event but lost two close matches in the semi-finals and the bronze medal playoff. He would be hoping to atone for those heartbreaking losses by bagging a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The heart of the matter

The ATP 250 Marseille Open is being held on the Mediterranean coast in the city of Marseille. Indian tennis star Rohan Bopanna along with his partner Denis Shapovalov of Canada has reachedthe men's doubles quarterfinals of the event.

In the pre-quarterfinals, they defeated the Italian pair of Simone Bolelli and Jannik Sinner 6-7, 6-3, 10-6. It was a closely fought affair with the Indo-Canadian pair making a comeback after losing the first set in a tie-breaker with the tie-break score being 8-6. They won the second set convincingly with a 6-3 margin and then went on to win the super tie-breaker 10-6 to progress to the quarters.

Bopanna and Shapovalov started well and got an early break in very first game of the first set. But they could not hold on to the advantage and eventually went on to lose the 1st set 8-6 in a closely fought tie-breaker. In the tie-breaker they had clawed their way back from being 1-5 down to draw level at 6-6 but lost the next 2 points and with it the set.

The start of the second set was similar to the first with the Indo-Canadian pair breaking serve early. Just as in the first set, they could not consolidate the break and were broken back. In the crucial 8th game, they managed to break their opponent's serve again to lead 5-3 and held serve to close out the 2nd set 6-3.

Both the pairs were neck and neck in the initial stages of the super tie-breaker and the score read 6-6 at one stage. From then on, the Bopanna-Shapovalov reeled off the next 4 points to win the set and with it the match.

What's next?

In the quarterfinals, Bopanna and Shapovalov would be up against Frederik Nielsen of Denmark and Tim Puetz of Germany. The Indo-Canadian pair would want to continue this winning momentum and go on to claim the title.