Pune, February 6, 2022: Star Indian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan produced a scintillating display to clinch the doubles title at the 2022 Tata Open Maharashtra with a stunning victory in the final at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune on Sunday.
The Indians defeated Australia’s Luke Saville and John-Patrick Smith 6-7 (10-12), 6-3, 10-6 to claim their second ATP title together.
It was Bopanna’s 21st doubles title, and second in Pune after having won it in 2019, playing alongside Divij Sharan. The fourth edition of South Asia’s only ATP-250 event is being organised by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association.
“A lot is to do with experience, which you really bring in, years and years of experience and the biggest thing is my body is feeling very very good at the moment. I did a lot of yoga which has helped me tremendously. It has made a difference and that really shows as long as I am playing matches, competing and doing something that is physically appealing,” the former World No. 3 doubles star Bopanna said after the match.
Later in the night, Portuguese star Joao Sousa continued his brilliant run in the tournament as he clinched his first singles title since 2018, beating Finnish youngster Emil Ruusuvuori 7-6 (11-9), 4-6, 6-1 in a hard-fought summit clash.
Regarded as the best Portuguese player of all time, the former World No.28 Sousa, once again proved his mettle when he kept his cool despite an intense first two sets to win the third clinically. It was also Sousa’s fourth ATP title in his career.
Earlier the Indian duo, which kickstarted the year on a high with their maiden ATP title together in Adelaide in January, started off well and despite some stiff challenge from the top seeds, put themselves ahead in the contest at 5-4.
However, the Aussie pair, looking to win their first title, took the set into the tie-breaker and wrapped up the opening set after that lasted for close to an hour.
Veteran doubles player Bopanna and his young energetic partner Ramkumar fought back well with a 4-2 lead in the second set. They further capitalised the momentum and levelled the scores.
Having titled the momentum in their favour, Bopanna and Ramkumar held their nerves to take the charge in the crucial decider and secured a win in the gruelling encounter.
Talking about the duo’s two titles this year, the Bengaluru-native added: “Both are extremely special but anytime you win a title at home it’s a lot more special. The crowd made a lot of difference both yesterday and today, you just get that extra boost, that extra energy. Even if your legs are feeling tired, that’s the energy you need to hit the serve, especially for me. Winning in India is always special and especially with an Indian partner is truly great.”
“I just have to work on a few things on the court and just keep competing at this level as much as I can which will improve my game and automatically the ranking,” the 27-year-old Ramkumar said.
The prestigious tournament is being owned by IMG and operated by RISE Worldwide in India.
Later tonight in the singles title clash, sixth-seeded Emil Ruusuvuori will take on Portugal’s Joao Sousa.