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Rohan Bopanna wins French Open mixed doubles title to clinch maiden Grand Slam

Rohan Bopanna clinched his maiden Grand Slam title when he won the French Open mixed doubles final with Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski in Paris on Thursday.

tennis Updated: Jun 08, 2017 17:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
French Open 2017,Roland Garros,Rohan Bopanna
Canada's Gabriela Dabrowski and India's Rohan Bopanna hold aloft the trophy after winning the French Open mixed doubles title in Paris on Thursday. The pair defeated Germany’s Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Colombian Robert Farah 2-6, 6-2 (12-10). (AP)

Indian tennis ace Rohan Bopanna and Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski produced a fighting performance to beat their German-Colombian opponents Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah in the final to clinch their maiden French Open mixed doubles title in Paris on Thursday.

Seeded seventh, Bopanna and Dabrowski took an hour and six minutes to win, saving two match points, as they overcame the unseeded Groenefeld and Farah 2-6, 6-2, 12-10 on Philippe-Chatrier Court.

READ | Rohan Bopanna-Gabriela Dabrowski enter French Open mixed doubles final

Indian mixed doubles Grand Slam champions
  • Leander Paes -- 10
  • Mahesh Bhupathi -- 8
  • Sania Mirza -- 3
  • Rohan Bopanna -- 1

Bopanna has become only the fourth Indian to win a Grand Slam crown, after Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza. Indians have accounted for 20 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. Two of those victories belong solely to India with Sania Mirza partnering Mahesh Bhupathi.

Bopanna entered the final of a Grand Slam tournament after a gap of seven years. He had also qualified for a Major final in 2010 when he and Pakistan partner Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi entered the title clash of the US Open.

The 16th seeds had then lost to American twins Bob and Mike Bryan in the final.

Bopanna is the also the fourth Indian to win a mixed doubles crown at the world’s premier clay court tournament. Bhupathi won India’s first Grand Slam title in 1997 when he partnered Japan’s Rika Hiraki to claim the French Open.

READ | Rohan Bopanna and Gabriela Dabrowski eye final spot in French Open mixed doubles

Bhupathi again won in 2012, this time with compatriot Sania Mirza.

Paes too had savoured glory on the red clay when he won in 2016 with Martina Hingis.

Bopanna and Dabrowski did not start well, losing the first set 2-6. The seventh seeds gave away as many as four breakpoint chances and Groenefeld and Farah converted two to take the lead in the match.

However, the Indian-Canadian combine fought back well to clinch the second set with the same scoreline.

READ | French Open: Rohan Bopanna in semis, knocks out Sania Mirza in mixed doubles

Though they were broken once, Bopanna and Dabrowski converted three of the five breakpoint opportunities they got to push the match into a match tie-break (earlier known as Super Tie-Break).

The German-Colombian pair led throughout the tie-break, and held two match points at 9-7. However, Bopanna and Dabrowski somehow managed to save both.

Bopanna and Dabrowski had their first chance when they took the lead at 10-9. They lost the opportunity as scores were levelled at 10-all but the pair grabbed the next two points to seal victory at Roland Garros.

First Published: Jun 08, 2017 16:53 IST