Bhupathi/Bopanna Capture First Title
by Press Release|
Fourth seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna captured their first ATP World Tour doubles title together on Saturday with victory in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final. The Indians overcame third-seeded Poles Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 6-4, 3-6, 10-5 in 69 minutes.
Bhupathi and Bopanna joined forces full time at the beginning of the 2012 ATP World Tour season and came into Dubai having reached the semi-finals at the Aircel Chennai Open (l. to Erlich/Ram) and the Open 13 in Marseille (l. to Brown/Tsonga).
"It's my first ATP 500 title," said Bopanna. "This is great, and obviously it's great to play with Mahesh. All that 17 years of experience on court I think really helps in those close matches and these big moments.
"It's a good opportunity for me to play with him, alongside him. I couldn't have asked for anything better than winning this title."
The Indian pairing broke decisively in the seventh game of the first set, and Bopanna served out the opener to 15. Fyrstenberg and Matkowski hit back immediately, though, breaking serve in the first game of the second set to level the match. In the deciding Match Tie-break, Bhupathi and Bopanna raced to a 6-2 lead, and triumphed as Bopanna hit a backhand return winner.
"It's just one point here and there which makes a difference," said Bopanna. "I mean, we had a chance to get back in the match in the second set, but we missed a couple of easy shots and we gave them the opportunity of taking that lead. That tie-break was key to get up and have a good start. That's what we did and got through that."
The 37-year-old Bhupathi captured his 50th tour-level title, and his fourth at this ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tennis tournament. The right-hander previously triumphed in 1998 (w/Paes), 2004 (w/Santoro) and 2008 (w/Knowles). The 31-year-old Bopanna clinched his sixth ATP World Tour doubles title.
"It's amazing," said Bhupathi, reflecting on the strong crowd support he and Bopanna received. "It's even better than playing at home, because the stadium here is bigger than Chennai. For me, fortunately, it's my fifth final I think and it's always like this on Saturday. It's amazing, so many Indians."
Competing in their 32nd tour-level final together, Fyrstenberg and Matkowski were chasing their first title since triumphing at the AEGON International in Eastbourne in June 2010. Last year they were runners-up at the US Open (l. to Melzer/Petzschner) and the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals (l. to Mirnyi/Nestor).
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