Friday, March 31, 2023
HomeSportsRohan Bopanna-Matthew Ebden in Indian Wells final

Rohan Bopanna-Matthew Ebden in Indian Wells final

Continuing their fine run over the last one month, India’s Rohan Bopanna and Australia’s Matthew Ebden reached the doubles final of the ATP Indian Wells Masters, knocking out home favourites and holders Jack Sock and John Isner 7-6(6), 7-6(2) in a tight semi-final.

India’s Rohan Bopanna and Australia’s Matthew Ebden(REUTERS)

At 43, this will be world No 15 Bopanna’s first final at the ATP 1000 hard court event often dubbed the “fifth Grand Slam” of tennis. “I’ve been to the semi-finals here before. It will be a great event to win,” Bopanna said after the semi-final.

A match in which the all-American combo won more points (78 to 75), two solid tiebreakers from Bopanna and Ebden proved the difference. The big-serving Isner and Sock did not face a break point throughout the match while Bopanna and Ebden saved nine out of nine.

“We were playing against a very tough team. We had to make sure we served well because the moment they get a break, they are great frontrunners,” Bopanna said.

Teaming up for this season, Bopanna and Ebden have been on a roll after the Australian Open. They lost a close final in Rotterdam before winning the ATP 250 title in Qatar last month. They will have their task cut out for the season’s second title, facing the top-seeded and top-ranked British-Dutch pair of Neal Skupski and Wesley Koolhof in the final.

Swiatek ousted

In the women’s singles semi-finals, Elena Rybakina swept past top-ranked and defending champion Iga Swiatek 6-2, 6-2. The Wimbledon champion will face Aryna Sabalenka – she beat Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-3 – for the title in a repeat of the 2023 Australian Open final.

The unvaccinated Novak Djokovic is officially out of next week’s Miami Open after the world No 1 failed to get an exemption.

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