Pune: Rohan Bopanna combined his booming serves with exquisite backhand winners during his blossoming partnership with Divij Sharan as the Indian pair won its maiden ATP tour title at the Tata Open Maharashtra on Saturday. Bopanna lost just four points on his serve during the entire title-clash as the top seeded Indians produced a dominating 6-3, 6-4 win over British pair of Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Maara.
This was veteran Bopanna’s 18th ATP tour title while Sharan has now won his fourth tournament on the circuit and first on the Indian soil. Bopanna carried the team smartly in this tournament even as Sharan would require to do more when they compete against tougher opponents at the Australian Open.
Before this, Bopanna won the Vienna event in October 2017 with Pablo Cuevas and Sharan won the Antwerp trophy with Scott Lipksy in the same month. The Britons had won two titles on the ATP World Tour last year – Stockholm and Eastbourne – and suffered their first defeat in a final.
Sharan dropping the serve in the eighth game of the second set was the only blemish as there was no drama in the final after they played two intense and dramatic matches en route the title clash. “This win surely is a big boost ahead of the Australian Open. Divij has variation and movement in his serve and he will get better. He definitely outs pressure on the opponents when he is at net,” said 38-year-old Bopanna, supporting his partner.
It is the first title for both Bopanna and Sharan on the ATP World Tour after more than a year after ending the 2018 season without a trophy even as they grabbed an Asian Games gold and immediately decided to join forces, keeping in mind the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Sixth title for Kevin Anderson Unleashing his all-round game at a crucial time, Kevin Anderson negated the serve and volley tactics of Ivo Karlovic in an excruciating three-set final to lift the singles title. The South African world number six tamed the ‘gentle giant’ 7-6(4), 6-7(2), 7-6 (5) to claim his sixth career title.