Mahesh Bhupathi is slowly making the transition from the anchor to the attacker, as his partnership with Rohan Bopanna is catching momentum at the Chennai Open.
The top seeds overcame a late challenge from Stanislas Wawrinka and Andreas Beck, beating them 6-4, 7-6 (3) on Thursday to enter the semifinals.
They had started their campaign in Chennai a little hesitantly, losing their first set against Xavier Malisse and Ken Skupski before rallying back to a 5-7, 6-3, 10-5 victory late Wednesday night. Bhupathi admitted that playing on the deuce court for the first time, having played the forehand side for the past 16 years on tour, he had been a little “lost” in the opening match.
But, on Thursday, he looked more confident at the net, and even cracked a couple of forehands down the line on return to prove a point or two.
Bhupathi-Bopanna, who have played primarily singles specialists till now, face their biggest challenge in the tournament when they meet Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich in the semifinal on Saturday. The Israelis, much like the storied Indian team of Leander Paes and Bhupathi, have had a rocky past, but are a formidable pair now.