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Australian Open 2018: Bopanna, Sharan advance

Australian Open 2018: Bopanna, Sharan advance
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By

Anjali Banerjee

Published: 19 Jan 2018 5:42 AM GMT
Riding the winning wave both Divij Sharan and Rohan Bopanna won their second round Men's doubles matches with convincing victories edging past their rivals at Melbourne Park.
While it was a slightly tough test for the left-handed Divij Sharan who had to withstand a tough three-set challenge, for the 37-year-old Rohan Bopanna it was a straight-sets win over their opponents.
A breakdown of the 16th seed Indo-American pair Divij Sharan and Rajeev Ram match.
Divij Sharan and Rajeev Ram defeated the European pair of Fabio Fognini and Marcel Granollers 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 in a tough three-set encounter. It proved to be a very vital win for India's Divij Sharan who is making his appearance in the third round at the Australian Open for the very first time.
Sharan and Ram had a rocky first two sets but in two hours and 10 minutes prevailed to book their place in the next round.
At the start of the first set, Fognini/Granollers got the early break which led the duo of Ram/ Sharan trailing. Despite three service winners in the ninth game, the Indo-American combine failed to convert the break and eventually lost the set. Fognini-Granollers were serving well and won 83% of the first service points that helped them bag the opener 6-4.
The second set saw Sharan/Ram coming back with renewed vigour. With changing tactics on serve, Sharan looked in total control. Playing brilliantly at the net and a superb volley in the fourth game earned them a crucial break to get a lead. Converting 40% of their break points the Indo- American pair was in a good position with 73% first serve points earned.
The team effort of Fognini- Granollers and with Sharan/Ram making errors, the second set went into a Tie-break. The crucial moment in the second set tie-break came at 3-3 when Ram and Sharan took the next three points to take a crucial lead and win the set.
It was a much more brilliant showing in the third from Ram and Sharan, as they won 87% of their first serve points, resulting in Fognini and Granollers making 11 unforced errors that proved costly for the European pair. Taking both the two chances to break the Fognini/ Granoller serve, Sharan and Ram ultimately snatched the decider and the match.
It was indeed a fine composure displayed by both Divij Sharan and Rajeev Ram to get the better of the European pair.
Rohan Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin match with straight sets win for the Indo-French pair.
Tenth seeds Rohan Bopanna and douard Roger-Vasselin encountered not much difficulty in ousting Leonardo Mayer and JoA?o Sousa 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) in an hour and 17 minutes.
The Indo-french pair were in fine fettle from the start in the first set. Bopanna was supreme at the net, hitting clean winners. In full control, the pair cruised by winning 86% of their first-serve points to make it tough for Mayer and Sousa. They also hit 13 winners to grab the opening set in just 28 minutes.
Things turned in the second when Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin started to commit more unforced errors. Without a single break of serve, the set went into a tie-breaker after Mayer and Sousa failed to take advantage of two break point opportunities at 4-4. Bopanna's two aces in the tenth game were crucial to getting them a lead in the tie-break.
With a 4-3 lead in the tiebreak, Roger-Vasselin's backhand winner down the line finally gifted the duo of Bopanna/ Vasselin the set.
The 10 Aces and 80% first serve points won was indeed a super performance from Bopanna/Vasselin.
Bopanna's commendable net play today has been commendable. His sharpness and return of serves have been brilliant.
Bopanna and Vasselin will now play seventh-seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavi in the pre-quarters at the Men's doubles event at Melbourne Park.
Tennis fans from the country can take heart from both these match-wins for our Indians in their second rounds and hope they go the distance into the tournament.
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