Tennis

Bopanna-Koolhof breeze into Qatar Open final

The Indian and his partner gave themselves a shot at glory with a straight-sets victory.

By Rahul Venkat ·

The pair of Rohan Bopanna and Wesley Koolhof marched into the final of the Qatar Open in Doha by defeating Finland’s Henri Kontinen and Croatian Franko Skugor in straight sets.

Third-seeded Bopanna-Koolhof made light work of their opponents, ranked a place higher than the Indo-Dutch pair for the tournament, breaking once in the first set and twice in the second to emerge victorious, 7-5, 6-2.

The match was originally scheduled for Thursday but a rain interruption meant that it was delayed by a day.

The Bopanna-Koolhof combination will face the unseeded pair of Englishman Luke Bambridge and Mexican Santiago Gonzalez to have a shot at the title in the final, which will be held later in the day.

Bambridge and Gonzalez had come back from a set down to defeat the doubles pair of Dane Frederik Nielsen and German Tim Putz in the other semi-final.

The match had begun on Thursday but could only complete one and a bit sets after which it was forced to be postponed to Friday due to the rain.

Ankita Raina through to ITF Australia semis

Meanwhile, India’s Ankita Raina was given a walkover in the quarter-finals of the ITF’s women’s singles tournament in Bendigo, Australia earlier on Friday after her opponent, third-seeded American Sachia Vickery, retired from the tie.

Ankita Raina had earlier defeated Vickery’s compatriot and former world no. 63, Irina Falconi in the Round of 16. After losing the first set 2-6, the Indian tennis ace fought back admirably, winning the next two with identical scores of 6-4 to move into the quarters after a gruelling duel that lasted two hours and 41 minutes.

She will next face Romanian top seed Patricia Maria Tig in the semi-final on Saturday after the latter got the better of Hungary’s Anna Bondar, 6-2, 7-5.