Tennis

Bopanna and Qureshi storm into final

Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi stormed into the men's doubles final of the US Open tennis championships with a 7-6(5), 6-4 victory over the Argentine duo of Eduardo Schwank and Horacio Zaballos in the semifinals on Thursday.

The duo now runs into the top seeded Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike. The Americans outclassed Marcel Granollers and Tommy Robredo of Spain 6-1, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

In a hard fought semifinal, the 16{+t}{+h}-seeded Bopanna and Qureshi, who haven't dropped a single set so far in the tournament, held their nerves during the first set tiebreak and then got a crucial break of serve in the second to clinch a place in their first ever Grand Slam final.

The support

The pair was cheered on in the grandstands by a horde of supporters including India and Pakistan's Ambassadors to the UN, Mr. Hardeep Puri and Mr. Abdullah H. Haroon.

“We are really thankful that they came, took some time and watched us play today,” said Bopanna.

On their chances against the Bryan siblings, Bopanna said, “playing at home they will enjoy a lot of support. We have some support ourselves with the Pakistanis and Indians coming out and cheering us.

“They are competitive but we have beaten them before, we just have to block out everyone else and play our game and just focus on the tennis.”

Bopanna and Qureshi have played the Bryans thrice with a 2-1 record in favour of the Americans, with the former having won the last meeting at the Washington Classic.

Bopanna acknowledged that beating the Bryans again was going to be tough task, but added, “we are ready for it. They are a great team.

Wealth of experience

“They have been competing at this level for many years and have a wealth of experience playing in Grand Slam finals. We know they will come at us hard and fight till the end.

“We have to stay focused on our game. Concentrate on the way we play and make sure we play to our strengths. We will respect our opponents but we will play without fear.

“We recently beat them and that will help us psychologically. We have great fan support and we hope to take this all the way,” said Bopanna.

“It's a tremendous achievement to get to the finals and the feeling is indescribable. It hasn't sunk in yet. We have been working really hard over the past year and we knew that if we stay focused, disciplined and determined we could do it. It will be an unforgettable experience and hopefully we come out as victors,” said Bopanna.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 5:23:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/Bopanna-and-Qureshi-storm-into-final/article15908797.ece

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