Tennis | Top-seeds Bopanna-Sharan progress to semis in the TATA Open

Day Four of the Tata Open Maharashtra saw the top-seed pairing of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan secure their passage through to the Semi-Finals of the doubles competition as they defeated the Indo-Mexican duo of Leander Paes and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela in three sets 6-7(4), 6-4, 17-15 in their Quarter-Final held here at the Mhalunge Balewadi Stadium today.

Earlier, singles’ top-seed and World No. 6 Kevin Anderson was also among the victors as he advanced to the semi-finals beating seventh-seed Jaume Munar in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.

Top-seeds Bopanna and Sharan came into the Quarter-Finals on the back of an easy 6-1,6-2 win against Radu Albot-Malek Jaziri. However, the unseeded pairing of the experienced Paes and Mexico’s Reyes-Varela gave the top seeds a tough outing as the match went into the super tie-break. It was Paes and Reyes-Varela who had secured the first set 7-6(4) after neither pair was successful in breaking the serve. The second set was the one where the tide turned in Bopanna and Sharan’s favour as the former used his serves to good effect. The top-seeds won 73% of their points on the serve and made it difficult for Paes-Varela to secure the win. The match went into the super tie-break with the top-seeds winning the second set 6-4.

The tie-breaking set saw both the pairs perform exceptionally, using their respective strengths to their advantage and saving match points on multiple occasions. It was only after the scores were tied at 15-15 that Bopanna-Sharan went on to claim the victory with the pair scoring the winner off Reyes-Varela’s serve, and thereby securing passage to the last four.

“It was a very competitive match but I think our experience of having played together for a reasonable period of time helped us in getting past the finishing line,” said Bopanna after the victory.

In the singles competition, it was the top-seed Anderson impressed the most as he served 14 aces in total to stroll past Munar in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 to progress to the Semi-Finals. The 32-year-old South African will face the winner of the all-French match between third-seed Gilles Simon and fifth-seed Benoit Paire.

In the other two singles Quarter-Finals, Belgium’s Steve Darcis sprung a surprise with a victory over fourth-seed Malek Jaziri in straight sets 7-5, 6-2 while 39-year-old Ivo Karlovic also progressed beating World No. 95 Ernests Gulbis in straight sets 7-6(5), 7-6(5). Darcis and Karlovic will now meet in the Semi-Final match of the Tata Open Maharashtra on Friday.

Earlier in the day, it was the Italian-Croatian pairing of Simone Bolelli and Ivan Dodig who beat the German pairing of Kevin Kraweitz and Andreas Mies in straight sets 6-2, 6-4 to set up a Semi-Final meeting with the top-seeds Bopanna and Sharan.