After straight-sets victories in the quarters and semis, Divij Sharan and Sriram Balaji were on a roll, but only just.
India’s men’s doubles team of Divij Sharan and N Sriram Balaji lost 2-6, 6-2, 10-6 in the final of the Czech Open tennis to local favourites Zdeněk Kolář and Lukáš Rosol in Prostejov on Friday.
The Indian duo made the title round on the back of straight-sets victories against the Swedish-Portuguese duo of Andre Goransson and Goncalo Oliveira in the quarter-final and the Czech pair of David Poljak and Dalibor Svrcina in the semis.
After both teams held their serves until the fifth game of the opening set, the Czech duo managed to break Sharan-Balaji in the sixth game to take an early 4-2 lead.
The Indian duo tried breaking back in the seventh game by forcing two break points, but Kolar-Rosol saved them before foiling Sharan-Balaji's serve in the eighth game and went on to win the first set 6-2.
Divij Sharan and Sriram Balaji hit back by breaking Zdeněk Kolář and Lukáš Rosol in the first and third games to take an early 3-0 lead in the second set.
The Indian duo capitalised on the early advantage and sealed the set 6-2, forcing the super-tiebreaker where the first team that wins 10 points, triumphs.
However, the Indian duo wasn’t as effective in the decider as Kolar and Rosol broke Sharan and Balaji twice to lead 5-2 midway into the tiebreaker.
Though Sharan and Balaji managed to get a break in the eighth serve, the Czech pair kept its lead intact for the remainder of the decider to win the set 10-6 and the match.