Purav/Divij end the season on a high

Purav Raja and Divij Sharan emerged as the champions at the ATP HPP Open Challenger in Helsinki, Finland. It was their final match of this season. The two share a rich history where they won their first ATP 250 title at Bogota, Colombia in 2013 and reached 5 ATP Challenger finals in the same year. Their best Grand Slam performance was reaching R3 at Roland Garros in 2017. They paired up again during the latter half of this season and finished the season strong with 2 ATP Challenger titles taking the tally to 9 titles overall.

The tourney team sat with them after the final for an interview. Purav/Divij beat the duo of Petro Tsitsipas(GRE)/Reese Stalder(USA) 6-7 6-3 10-8. The excerpts from the same are as follows.

Q) How do you guys feel after today’s final ?

Divij: I am still high on adrenaline. It was such a close match. We were down in the match tiebreak and we came back. Really excited to finish the year like that. This is our last tournament and what a way to do it.

Q) It was not the first time this week that you guys were down. How do you come back ? Is it the experience ? How does it work ?

Purav: Honestly, one of the things is that we change the energy in the match a little bit. We realised that we were getting down on spirits after we lost the first set. I think Divij did a really good job and I tried to maintain the energy throughout even though we were down 6-2 in the tiebreaker so we kind of maintain the energy and I think that’s where the experience really counts. We can kind of smell the situation before it actually happens and we have played enough doubles to kind of know that the situation is so we probably should go that’s why it helps a little bit saying that doubles is so close and they were the better team for a lot of the match and we stayed in it and luckily we got on the top in the end. Credit to them they played a great match and we tried to use whatever tools we could and every match we try to improve on this.

Q) How close are you to the net ?

Purav: I do not have an option (laughs). It’s the only thing I do well. I told Divij I don’t do everything well and but some one thing that I do well is I’ll try and do the best I can. The thing is he(Divij) is so good at covering the other spaces and I stay closer and try to put enough pressure.

Q) You said that it is the last tournament for you guys. How are you going to spend your holidays ?

Divij: We’ve got a few league matches back home in India so we’re going to play that and obviously start getting ready for next season. Tennis is a game where we don’t get that much of a break, we don’t get that much time off but that’s fine. It will be a good chance for us to catch up with our families and spend time with them.

Purav: Divij is younger than me so he is going to play the league matches and I’m just going to watch from the side. I’m not going to play those. I’ll look forward to training with him in Dubai in the middle of December and have few weeks at home and then we go back to the next season and hopefully build from this and go forward.

Rishab is a tennis/table tennis player who works in IT

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