It was a perfect start to the year for our doubles #1 Rohan Bopanna. In the first week of 2019, Rohan had won Pune ATP along with Divij Sharan.
This year Pune open was moved to February due to ATP cup. So, Rohan had to play at Doha instead and with a different partner. He paired up for the first time with world #18 Dutchman Wesely Koolhof. As third seeds, they had an excellent run in this tournament getting thru to the final upsetting second seeds Henri Continen and Franko Skugor on the way in the semi final in straight sets. In the final they beat the pair of Luke Bambridge of GBR and Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico 36 62 10-6.
It was a good comeback for Rohan and Wesely as they were playing their second match of the day due to rain on the previous day. This win was worth 250 points and $38K for Rohan and moved him ahead to #37 in the ranking. More importantly, this gives him a lot of confidence as he is coming from a break due to a knee injury and it does appear that injury did not trouble him at all this week.
ATP 250 Qatar Exxonmobil Open – Doha, Qatar
[R1] Divij Sharan (IND) / Artem Sitak (NZL) l. (4) Fabrice Martin (FRA) / Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 67(4) 26
[R1] (3) Rohan Bopanna (IND) / Wesely Koolhof (NED) d. Marco Cecchenito (ITA) / Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) 63 62
[QF] (3) Rohan Bopanna (IND)/ Wesley Koolhof (NED) bt Frances Tiafoe (USA)/ Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 63 64
[SF] (3) Rohan Bopanna (IND)/ Wesley Koolhof (NED) d. (2) Henri Kontinen (FIN)/ Franko Skugor (CRO) 75 62
[F] (3) Rohan Bopanna (IND)/ Wesley Koolhof (NED) d. Luke Bambridge (GBR) / Santiago Gonzales (MEX), 36 62 [10-6]
ATP Challenger Tour
On the Challenger tour, Indian No.1 Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan had a tough outing as none of them could cross the 2nd round.
Both head over to the Australian Open qualification tourney next week with Sumit Nagal joining them.
ATP $162,480 + H Challenger – Bendigo, Australia
[R1] Ramkumar Ramanathan (IND, 174) l. Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN, 123) 63 26 36
[R1] Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND, 124) d. WC-Jason Kubler (AUS, 261) 75 63
[R2] Prajnesh Gunneswaran (IND, 124) l. Taro Daniel (JPN, 110) 46 67 (4)
ITF Womens Tour
Ankita Raina had a very good start to the year too. She reached the SF in the $25K ITF tournament in Bendigo, Australia with 2 very good wins in the first 2 rounds and getting a walkover in the QF. This gave Ankita very good match practice ahead of Australian Open qualies next week. This also gave her important 18 points which will move her ahead to around 170 when these points are updated.
In another good result, Zeel Desai made the SF in singles at $15K in Monastir, Tunisia and won the doubles title with partner Anastasia Tikhonova of Russia.
ITF $25K – Bendigo, Australia
[R1] Ankita Raina (IND,180) d. Martina Di Giuseppe (ITA,201) 61 75
[R2] Ankita Raina (IND,180) d. (Q) Irina Falconi (USA,443) 26 64 64
[QF] Ankita Raina (IND,180) d. Sachia Vickery (USA,155) walkover
[SF] Ankita Raina (IND,178) l. (1) Patricia Maria Tig (ROU,113) 36 46
ITF $15K – Montasir, Tunisia
[R1]  Zeel DESAI (745) vs BYE
[R2]  Zeel DESAI (745) d. Olympe LANCELOT (FRA,985) 6-0 6-2
[QF]  Zeel DESAI (iND, 745) d. Martyna KUBKA (POL,881) 7-5 6-4
[SF]  Zeel DESAI (IND,745) l.  Sabina SHARIPOVA (UZB,335) 36 46
ITF Mens Tour
Aryan Goveas and Nitin Kumar Sinha played at the ITF $15K event main draw in Antalya, Turkey. However, both of them lost in the first round.