Rohan Bopanna doubles up to win Qatar Open title
India's Rohan Bopanna and Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands emerged victorious in the final of the Qatar Open ATP 250 event in Doha on Friday, beating the unseeded English-Mexican pair of Luke Bambridge and Santiago Gonzalez 3-6, 6-2, 10-6 to lift the doubles trophy.
The well-travelled Rohan Bopanna and Wesley Koolhof were playing their second match of the day, after earlier defeating second-seeded Henri Kontinen and Franko Skugor in straight sets in the semi-final.
Their opponents were also in action on Friday after their semi-final fixture was suspended midway on Thursday following a rare burst of rain in Doha. They finished their semis match earlier but could not quite outlast the experienced pair in the final.
Things did not start well for the Indo-Dutch pair, though, as they lost the first set rather easily as Bambridge and Gonzalez made their only break point count, and saving the one they conceded to win the set 6-3.
However, Rohan Bopanna and Wesley Koolhof hit back in the second set, breaking their rivals’ serve as early as the fourth game to get the advantage and then repeated the feat in the eighth game to close out the set 6-2 and seize back the momentum they had let go of.
Super tie-breaker seals the deal
The match then went into the super tie-breaker, which meant that the first team to reach 10 points would be declared the winners. That is how the Bambridge-Gonzalez pair had reached the final but they could not quite repeat the feat for the trophy.
The teams regularly exchanged points in the early stages but were not always able to hold on to their serves. With the score tied at 4-4, Bopanna and Koolhof used all their experience to put pressure on their opponents and they buckled, allowing the Indo-Dutch pair to quickly race to a 9-4 lead.
Bambridge and Gonzalez then held both of their serves to make it 9-6 in favour of Bopanna-Koolhof but with just one point to win, they were not left with much to do and finished off the match without any fuss.
Bopanna build up boost
The title in Doha will serve as a major boost for Bopanna as he counts down to the upcoming Australian Open later this month.
The 39-year old suffered a shoulder injury in the latter part of 2019, but now looks as though he is ready for his assault at a second Grand Slam title in Melbourne.