Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan showed how to handle home pressure as they clinched the Tata Open Maharashtra title in Pune on Sunday.
The second seeds playing to maintain an unbeaten record in 2022, held their nerve to defeat top-seeded Australians Luke Saville and John-Patrick Smith 6-7(10), 6-3, 10-6.
It was Bopanna and Ramanathan’s second ATP trophy of the year, having also triumphed at the Adelaide International 1 in January (d. Dodig/Melo). Their only match together prior to this season had been a Davis Cup defeat against Finland in 2021, but the pairing now holds an 8-0 match record in 2022.[FOLLOW ACTION]
They were made to work for their victory in Pune. Saville and Smith, also playing their first ATP Tour final as a team, edged the first set tiebreak and performed strongly overall on serve. The Australians landed 79 per cent of their first serves and won 80 per cent (48/60) of points behind first delivery.
Bopanna and Ramanathan still managed to break twice in the second set to level however, forcing a Match Tie-break that began tensely. It was the Indian pairing that cut loose at 4/4, embracing the home support to reel off five points in a row before sealing victory with their fourth match point after a tight one hour, 46-minute encounter.
The title is Bopanna’s 21st tour-level trophy and his second in Pune, having also won in 2019 with Divij Sharan. It is Ramanathan’s second career title after the pairing’s Adelaide victory.