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French Open 2018: Yuki Bhambri and Divij Sharan begin their Doubles campaign on a high

French Open 2018: Yuki Bhambri and Divij Sharan begin their Doubles campaign on a high

Anjali Banerjee

Published: 31 May 2018 6:19 AM GMT
Indian tennis ace, Yuki Bhambri with his counterpart Divij Sharan made a winning start to their Doubles campaign last night in Paris at the French Open. In 2 hours 21 minutes, the duo ousted the Indo-French pair of Purav Raja and Fabrice Martin 6-3 5-7 6-4 to move into the Second Round. Bhambri and Sharan glided through the first set with ease breaking the opponent's serve once and winning 59% of first serves as against only 40% of Purav Raja and Fabrice Martin. The Indo-French pair albeit could not break Bhambri and Sharan's serve even once despite having five opportunities and ended in dropping the set with a total of just 34 points in contrast to 40 of Yuki and Divij. The 4 double faults also proved expensive for Purav and Martin. Making amends after losing the first set, Purav and Fabrice broke Bhambri and Sharan's serve once in the second set. Raining down 3 aces, the Indo- French pair won a flawless 72% of first serves as against 55% of Bhambri and Sharan and eventually took the second set 7-5.
In the third set Bhambri and Sharan took things in hand once again and did not face a single break point. They broke Raja and Martin's serve once and won a total of 34 points whereas Raja and Fabrice won only 26 of the total points in the final set. Fabrice Martin and Purav Raja thundered down 6 aces in the entire duration of the match but also double faulted 5 times which took a toll on their chances and let Bhambri and Sharan stamp authority on the match. Bhambri who earlier ended in a first round loss in Men's singles against lucky loser Ruben Bemelmans made sure of not getting sulked into the affliction of the defeat and cruised to victory in their opening doubles match. Sharan and Bhambri have earlier played as a pair in the Tata Open Maharashtra an ATP 250 event in January this year where they scripted a semi-final finish against Pierrie Huges Herbert and Gilles Simon. It is the first time since Somdev Devvarman that an Indian is playing in two events of both singles and doubles of a Grand Slam. Somdev had featured in the 2011 edition of the US Open both singles and doubles. The 25-year old Bhambri has also played doubles in the 2014 Australian Open with Michael Venus reaching the third round on the turf in Melbourne.
Next up for Bhambri and Sharan are second seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic in the second round at Roland Garros. Marach and Pavic are one of the most consistent doubles pairs on the ATP tours. Their fascinating results this season make them one of the most toughest challengers to tackle. To their resume are titles in Doha, Auckland, then a runner up in Melbourne and Rotterdam. The duo has also made the quarter finals in Acapulco and Miami, semi finals at Indian Wells and finalist at Monte Carlo too. The pair is also coming from the back of a quarter final finish in Barcelona and Rome and a title in Geneva last week. Later today Rohan Bopanna and Roger Vasselin will be taking on the French pair of Benjamin Bonzi and Jack Gregoire in the second round. Bopanna and his partner had earlier defeated Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe in the opening round at Roland Garros.
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