Sriram Balaji Jeevan Tennis

5th Tata Open Maharashtra: Gille-Vliegen down India’s Balaji-Jeevan to clinch sixth ATP doubles title

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Indian pair of N Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan’s dream run came to an end at the fifth edition of the Tata Open Maharashtra after they were defeated by the fourth-seeded duo of Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen 6-4, 6-4 in the doubles final at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune on Saturday.

It was the sixth ATP Tour title for the Belgian duo, who entered the title clash after thrashing No. 1 seed Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the semi-finals last night. Their last title came in Singapore in 2021.

The Indians, on the other hand, had an impressive run in the tournament since making an entry as an alternative pair. They shocked No. 2 seed Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow earlier in the quarter-finals.

The on-going edition of South Asia’s only ATP 250 event is conducted by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) in association with the Government of Maharashtra for the fifth year in Pune.

Balaji and Jeevan started the game on a winning note by taking 1-0 lead. However, Gille-Vliegen quickly shifted gears and, despite some resistance from the Indians, pocketed the opening set 6-4 convincingly.

The Tamil Nadu-born duo, playing their maiden ATP Tour final since making tour-level debut as a team in 2012, managed to win a game when they were trailing 2-4 down in the second set and put up a strong fight, showing signs of a comeback. But, Gille-Vliegen continued to play aggressively and did not allow Indians to recover before wrapping up the set as well as the match in one hour and 10 minutes.

The prestigious tournament, owned by IMG and managed by RISE Worldwide, is sponsored by Tata Motors.

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