Pune, Jan 5:
Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan came back from the brink for the second match in a row to reach the final of the Tata Open Maharashtra, taming Simon Bolelli and Ivan Dodig in a thriller here on Friday.
The top seeded Indians, playing first time on Tour as a team, knocked out the Italian-Croatian combine 6-3, 3-6, 15-13 in one hour and 33 minutes after saving two match points in the Super Tie Break.
They had saved six match points on Thursday against Leander Paes and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela before winning.
It was tough test for the new Indian team as it was up against players, who have a Grand Slam crown each to their credit, and the home team played better than its previous clash.
Bolelli, a top-50 singles player in 2009, had won the 2015 Australian Open doubles with fellow Italian Fabio Fognini while Dodig also won his first and only men’s doubles Grand Slam crown in the same year at French Open with Marcelo Melo.
Bopanna as usual was solid with his returns while left-hander Sharan put up a better show than Thursday.
It will be the first final on the ATP World Tour for both the players. Bopanna last played a final when he won the Vienna event in October 2017 with Pablo Cuevas and Sharan won the Antwerp title with Scott Lipksy in the same month.
“We played a better match today, happy to ride the wave. It was completely different from yesterday, these guys were returning stronger,” said Bopanna.
“To have an Indian team back on tour is good and we are improving. But it will take some time to set patterns. We have not played much together and need some off-court practice together,” he added.
Sharan, who struggled with his serve, said he it’s a work in progress but he still has “spots” where he can get points.
“I am not putting much spin to the ball. Conditions were different from yesterday and I was not finding my rhythm. Tomorrow, the key will be to play freely and fight for every point,” the Delhi lad said.