Chennai Open: Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan win doubles title | tennis | Hindustan Times
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Chennai Open: Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan win doubles title

In Chennai Open doubles final, Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan beat Purav Raja and Divij Sharan 6-3, 6-4

tennis Updated: Jan 09, 2017 17:17 IST
Sharmistha Chaudhuri
Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan beat  Purav Raja and Divij Sharan 6-3, 6-4 to claim the Chennai Open doubles title.
Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan beat Purav Raja and Divij Sharan 6-3, 6-4 to claim the Chennai Open doubles title. (PTI)

It was a historic final. For the first time in the history of the Chennai Open, two Indian teams were contesting the doubles summit clash. No matter the result, the crown would stay at home. The last time that happened in the Chennai Open was back in 2011 when Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi did the honours.

Six years later on Sunday evening at the SDAT Stadium it was Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan’s turn in the Chennai Open. The unseeded pair came and conquered with a 6-3 6-4 win over Purav Raja and Divij Sharan.

While Bopanna and Jeevan were pairing for only the second time, Sharan and Raja have become a regular on the circuit and have two ATP 250 titles together. Last season was spectacular for them and playing the first event of 2017, they had hoped to begin on a winning note. But it was not to be.

It was their first loss as a team in an ATP 250 final. Jeevan, who has only three doubles Challengers titles over the last two years on his resume, won his maiden ATP Tour event thanks to Rohan Bopanna’s partnership.

“I have to thank Rohan for giving me this opportunity,” he had said. Jeevan was the only player to have not conceded a break in the Aircel Chennai Open.

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Home boy Jeevan had the maximum crowd support and every winner was greeted with loud cheers while unforced errors had groans echoing. Bopanna and Jeevan initially ran away with a 3-0 lead in the first set. But, Sharan and Raja are not the team to throw in the towel.

They started clawing their way back and even managed to break Bopanna in the fifth game. Once they equalised 3-3, the left-handed Jeevan refused to let them break his serve and took the lead at 4-3. Raja failed to hold serve next which gave the big-serving Bopanna ample opportunity to serve out the first set.

Sharan and Raja took the initial lead in the second to go up 2-0. But it was evident that the duo were struggling to finish points despite many chances. Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan capitalised on their unforced errors and won four games in a row to go up 4-2.

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That was a crucial lead as after that the set went on serve. Serving for the championship at 5-4, it was again world No 28 Bopanna’s turn to step up. He sure didn’t disappoint. With his trademark booming serves, he closed out the match when Raja erred on a forehand return.