Tennis

Davis Cup | Paes-Bopanna keep India’s hopes alive

We’ve done it: Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna are cock-a-hoop after winning the doubles tie to pull things back for India.

We’ve done it: Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna are cock-a-hoop after winning the doubles tie to pull things back for India.  

Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna kept the Indian team’s hopes alive by winning the doubles 6-3, 6-7(9), 7-5 against Mate Pavic and Franko Skugor of Croatia in the Davis Cup qualifier tie here on Saturday.

The doubles match could have finished a lot earlier, but the Croatians saved two match points in the second set tie-break to push the contest into the decider.

The Indian pair was in a spot of bother when Bopanna’s serve was broken in the fifth game of the decider. But the duo broke Skugor’s serve in the eighth and 12th games to pull through.

Wonderful returns

Bopanna hit a magnificent backhand return of serve, and that was followed by Leander smashing a forehand return winner. Facing the third match point, Skugor, under pressure, served a double fault.

Ramkumar Ramanathan had stretched Cilic to two tie-breaks in the second rubber, after Prajnesh had been beaten by the 277th-ranked Borna Gojo in the first match.

A win on the first day could have given India a better chance to fight the Croatians on the indoor hard courts, but there was still hope following the win in the doubles rubber.

Interestingly, it was the 45th doubles victory for the 46-year-old Leander, and third on the trot following the ones against China and Pakistan, partnering Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan respectively. Leander also took his overall record to 93-35 in Davis Cup.

In the last tie against Croatia in 1995, Leander had won all his three matches, which included a five-set win over Goran Ivanisevic.

The results: Croatia leads India 2-1 (Mate Pavic & Franko Skugor lost to Rohan Bopanna & Leander Paes 3-6, 7-6(9), 5-7).

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 8:57:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/davis-cup-paes-bopanna-keep-indias-hopes-alive/article31011151.ece

Next Story