Category Archives: ATP

Bopanna falters in Mumbai doubles final

Kingfisher Airlines Tennis Open - ATP MumbaiFor the second year in a row, Rohan Bopanna was at the losing end of the Kingfisher Airlines Open doubles final.

He and Pakistan’s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi went down fighting 6-7 (3), 6-7(5) to third seeds Lindstedt and NieminenRobert Lindstedt of Sweden and Jarkko Nieminen of Finland in Mumbai on Sunday night.

In the end, the Scandinavian duo proved just too good in the tie-breakers.

Rohan BopannaAisam QureshiFor the Indo-Pak pair, this was their first ATP tournament together. The loss shouldn’t bog them down too much – after all they won four Challenger titles on the trot in July and August.

Bopanna, 27, had also made the final at Mumbai last year with Mustafa Ghouse only to lose to doubles specialist Mahesh Bhupathi and Croatia’s Mario Ancic.

While Bhupathi withdrew with a bad back this year, there was no news of India’s number 1 doubles player Leander Paes.

Bopanna and Qureshi in Kingfisher Open doubles final

Rohan Bopanna has a shot at doing India proud with a doubles title at the Kingfisher Airlines Open, along with a chance to erase last year’s losing finalist tag.

Rahul Bopanna(L) & Aisam Qureshi(R)Pairing up with Pakistan’s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, Bopanna defeated Lars Burgsmuller of Germany and Olivier Rochus of Belgium 6-2, 6-3 in the semifinals in Mumbai on Saturday.

For the Indo-Pak pair, this is their first ATP tournament together. But they have plenty of experience in title rounds — having won four Challenger titles on the trot in July and August.

Bopanna, 27, had also made the final at Mumbai last year with Mustafa Ghouse only to lose to doubles specialist Mahesh Bhupathi and Croatia’s Mario Ancic.

This time around, Bopanna and Qureshi are up against the third-seeded pair of Sweden’s Robert Lindstedt and Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen.

For the record, Lindstedt and Nieminen have a 17-20 win-loss record going into the final, their first on the ATP tour.

Both pairs have had the advantage of a walkover win in this tournament – Lindstedt/Nieminen in the opening round and Bopanna/Qureshi in the quarterfinals.

Mumbai misses Indians at Kingfisher Open

Kingfisher Airlines Tennis Open - ATP MumbaiIt took four rain-hit days to complete first round matches at the Kingfisher Airlines Tennis Open but when the roll call was taken, no Indians were left in the singles draw.

There’s not going to be any consolation from doubles either. Mahesh Bhupathi, who claimed the inaugural title in 2006 with Mario Ancic, pulled out before his opening round doubles match with what appears to be a bad back.

Wildcard Rohan Bopanna, at 244 the highest ranked Indian in singles, was our best hope and he almost made it. But it was Frenchman Nicolas Devilder who prevailed 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (11-9) after saving three matchpoints.

NCAA champion Somdev Dev Varman, the other Indian wildcard in the draw, actually led 5-4 in the second set against Italian Fabio Fognini but had to settle for a 3-6, 6-7(8-10) loss at the $416,000 ATP event.

In a battle of qualifiers, Navdeep Singh couldn’t find anything to break Toshihide Matsui’s rhythm and lost 4-6, 6-7(6-8) to the Japanese player.

And lucky loser Purav Raja couldn’t make much of a second chance, falling 4-6, 1-6 to Spain’s Ivan Navarro.

Raja and Vivek Shokeen are playing doubles too, but as last-minute replacements for Bhupathi and France’s Fabrice Santoro and no miracles are expected from them.

Last year’s surprise finalists Bopanna and Ghouse also survive in the doubles event though with different partners – Bopanna with Pakistan’s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Ghouse with Karan Rastogi.

But the question on everybody’s minds is the whereabouts of Leander Paes. The doubles specialist skipped the Mumbai event apparently because of his tiff with Bhupathi. But he and Britain’s Jamie Murray are also missing in action at the ATP Bangkok event, where they were supposed to be playing this week.

Update: Ghouse and Rastogi lost to the British pair of James Auckland and Ross Hutchins 2-6, 6-3, 3-10 in a first round match on Centre Court that lasted an hour and 14 minutes.