The first time pairing of Top India Doubles Player & Top Indian Singles player did wonders at the ATP250 event in Australia in the build to the grand slam Australian Open.
Rohan Bopanna ATP43 was initially entered in the tournament to play alongside Edouard Roger-Vasselin ATP42 but he got an entry into the parallel running ATP Cup. Ramkumar Ramanathan ATP144 who was scheduled to travel to Melbourne a week earlier to prepare for the Grand Slam Qualifying then made a switch in travel plans to come to Adelaide and the results are now known to everyone. They are the Champions defeating the Seed Eight, Four & One dropping just one set during the whole week.
Ramkumar started his week in Adelaide with Singles Qualifying match against an astonishing talent from Denmark Holger Rune losing a close one (4-6, 6-7(7)). Rune went one to make the main draw at the event losing in the first main draw match. This match was also keenly followed by many Indian tennis fans as India is all set to host Denmark in couple of months for Davis Cup Round match in New Delhi Grass court and Ramkumar v Rune could very well decide the fate of the tie. Starting the season with a close match against the 18 year old from Denmark Ramkumar showed he is ready for the battle come Delhi in March.
After losing the Singles Qualifying it was time for some magic from the new Indian pairing Ramkumar and Rohan in Doubles. They started their campaign in an emphatic fashion beating the Brazil/USA team of Romboli and Cerretani (6-2, 6-1). That match showed that this is not some makeshift team and are in the draw for some serious business.
Next up they were up against a seasoned American pairing of Lammons and Withrow, Eigth seed of the tournament, the match had everything for the tennis fans. The match went on for an hour and thirty seven minutes with all the set going to tie break with both the teams holding on to their serves. Indian team fired in 13 aces during the course of the match to win it from a set down to grabbing the win in the Super Tie- Break (6-7(4), 7-6(3), 10-4.
In the Quarterfinals the Indian team which is fondly called as RAMBO or RAMANNA made quick work of the unseeded pair of Bonzi and Nys from France and Monaca winning the match in less than an hour (6-1, 6-3) to book the Semifinal match against fourth seed of the tournament. The way the Indian team had been playing through the tournament a spot in the final was on the card and they didn’t disappoint going on full throttle to beat the fourth seeds as well in straight set giving them no chance for a comeback. The match lasted for not even an hour and the score line showed the dominance (6-2, 6-4). The Indian team was all fired up for the Finals and the fans were eagerly waiting for the clash on early Sunday morning at nine in this winter season.
PHOTO CREDIT : TENNIS AUSTRALIA
Finals: Indian team was up against a very formidable and seasoned pairing of Dodig ATP12 & Melo ATP29 who reunited after five years last season to make a comeback as a team during Indian Wells. The pair had won the French Open in 2015 defeating the Bryan brothers in a very closely contested match after losing to them in Wimbledon in 2013 in Grass.
The match was billed to be a cracker of a contest and it did live up to it for the first set with Rohan and Ram winning the set saving a set point at 5-6 (40:40). Once the set was won there was no looking back for the Indian pair as they screamed past the second one in no time winning it 6-1 in less than half an hour.
This was Rohan Bopanna twentieth ATP title while for Ramkumar the last six month have been surreal to win his first Challenger Single trophy, to be the India number one in Singles and now winning his first ATP title. We wish he continues this journey and makes in Grand Slam debut in the Singles at this Australian Open. Surely he can do that with the confidence he is carrying with him.
India who had nil ATP trophies to show for the whole last season have started the new season in an emphatic manner winning the first trophy in the first week itself that will surely give confidence to other players as well for the season. Over to the Grand Slam Qualifying.