Tennis: Purav Raja-Divij Sharan are champions in Colombia
Indian tennis pair of Purav Raja and Divij Sharan lifted their first ever ATP tour title at the Claro Open in Bogota, Colombia. The Indians defeated 2nd seeded pair of Edouard Roger Vasselin and Igor Sisling in a hard fought encounter 7-6(4) 7-6(3) in an hour and 30 minutes.
The match started with the 2nd seeds applying continuous pressure on the serve of the Indians, generating 4 break point opportunities and converting once to take the lead in the set. However, the Indian pair was up to the mark as they nullified the break of serve by converting their only break point opportunity and take the set to a tie break. The Indians went on to win the tie break 7-4 and take the opening set.
In the 2nd set, serving at 1-1, the pressure from the Franco-Dutch pair resulted in two break points against the Indians, but they somehow managed to scrape through and hold serve. However, leading at 3-2 on serve, Raja-Sharan secured that crucial break of serve and then consolidated it to take a huge 5-2 lead in the set.
It appeared as though the Indians would race away with the title but the 2nd seeds had other plans. Serving for the set at 5-3, a double fault by the Indians opened a 0-30 gap. This resulted in a break point opportunity which was gleefully accepted by the 2nd seeds as the match came back on serve.
The pressure of playing in a final got to the Indians as the Franco-Dutch combination roared their way back into the set, leveling it at 5-5. With momentum firmly in their favor, the 2nd seeds again created two break point chances and it appeared that the experienced 2nd seeds would snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
The Indians managed to hold serve in that game as the set moved to a tie break after a love game from Roger Vasselin-Sisling. In the tie break, the Indian pair secured that crucial mini break to lead 4-2 at the halfway stage. Raja-Sharan held their nerve to close out the match, when they converted their first match point opportunity to lift their first ever ATP tour title.
Raja and Sharan have had a terrific year so far, winning the Kyoto challenger followed by reaching their first ever Grand Slam main draw at Wimbledon where they lost out in a close 5 set encounter in the opening round. They also reached the finals of the challenger tournaments in Johannesburg, Nottingham and Leon.
Meanwhile, in other good news for Indian tennis fans, all the Indians progressed through to the next round of qualifying at the BB&T Atlanta Open. Somdev Devvarman defeated American Patrick Davidson in straight sets 6-0 6-2. Devvarman would now face compatriot Prakash Amritraj in the next round who overcame American Jason Jung 6-2 6-0. The other Indian in the fray Saketh Myneni also won his encounter in straight sets defeating Brazilian world number 361 Marcelo Demoliner 6-3 7-5.Published 21 Jul 2013, 05:47 IST