Bopanna- Nedunchezhiyan crowned champions at Aircel Chennai Open




Nungambakkam, Jan. 8: Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan became the first Indian pair since 2011 to win the Aircel Chennai Open doubles title here at the SDAT Stadium on Sunday.

Rohan Bopanna-Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan won the doubles title in the 2017 Aircel Chennai Open today

Rohan Bopanna-Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan won the doubles title in the 2017 Aircel Chennai Open today

They beat fellow countrymen Purav Raja and Divij Sharan 6-3, 6-4 to emulate Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, who achieved the feat as many as five times. Paes won the title one more time in 2012 but that was with a Serbian player, Janko Tipsaveric.

Some sort of doubles history was created even before the first ball was hit, as it was the time in Aircel Chennai Open’s 22-year existence that four Indians featured in the finals.

“It was a big step for tennis to have four Indians playing in the finals,” Bopanna said. “If this inspires even or two kids to take up tennis, I will be such a happy person,” he added.

Bopanna agreed that the match was much more closer than it actually turned out to be. “There were a number of chances for both of us. But we were better as a team,” he said.

Bopanna and Nedun made it look easy but Raja and Sharan put up a game fight, even going ahead in the second set. They just couldn’t maintain the momentum, with a booming Bopanna being the critical difference. The 14-time ATP winner forged into an unstoppable force in the company of a delectable Nedun.

Bopanna and Nedun surged ahead in the second game itself, with Sharan unable to hold his serve. Nedun held his own in style for 3-0 and they could have added one more game to their tally. But they failed to convert two break points against Raja to give him and Sharan a look in.

Against the run of play, Bopanna however suffered a break and Sharan held serve to make it 3-all. The two pairs fought valiantly for the upper hand but Bopanna came up with another winner to regain ground 5-4. He produced two aces to seal the game and set.

In the second set too, Bopanna was the first to be broken to give Sharan-Raja a 2-0 lead. But Raja and Sharan were broken in their respective games to put Bopanna-Nedun 4-2 firmly on their way to the title. 

All four players held their serves thereafter but by then the match had been won and lost.

Result

Doubles: Rohan Bopanna-Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (IND) beat Purav Raja-Divij Sharan (IND) 6-3, 6-4

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