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Thursday, April 18 2024
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US Open: Bopanna falls short, Ram/Salisbury retain title

US Open Bopanna falls short RamSalisbury retain title
Photo Credit : IANS

New York: India’s Rohan Bopanna and his Australian partner Matthew Ebden went down fighting in the men’s doubles final at the US Open, losing 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

History was on the line in the men’s doubles final as both pairs had a chance of getting into the record books.

Rohan Bopanna, the oldest male player to reach a Grand Slam final, was hoping to become the oldest winner while Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury were gunning for a hat-trick of US Open titles.

In the end, the 2021 and 2022 champions pulled off a captivating comeback to navigate past the gallant duo of Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden. It was the second time unlucky for Bopanna in the final as he lost in the finale once again after going down in the 2010 final.

It was a dream start from Bopanna, with a volley putaway and ferocious forehand bringing an immediate break to love.

The reigning champions Ram and Salisbury ramped up the pressure in a collection of quickfire exchanges to chalk up a chance, but Bopanna’s booming delivery and Ebden’s clean net play dissolved danger to go 3-1 up.

Ebden, who was a career-high world No. 39 in singles play a few years back in 2018, was simply in the zone and reading the play with authority to secure another telling break before the Australian soared through a hold to love to snatch away the opener.

Bopanna screeched along the baseline to arrow a backhand pass just over the net tape for another early break chance.

However, Ram and Salisbury stood firm and began to wrestle back the initiative, reading the patterns of the play and reeling the errors from their opponents for a 4-2 lead.

Ram flicked a laser-like inside-in forehand return winner to fire a warning sign to their rivals—they were back in the groove in New York.

Into the decider and Bopanna fell 0-40 behind on his serve. A spellbinding forehand lob, while back peddling, provided the catalyst to escape with five successive points.

The Indian rifled a backhand return to split Ram and Salisbury for a break chance. The reigning champions hung in and saved three break points themselves to level, 2-2.

Ram/Salisbury were claiming the key points, driving through three consecutive games to edge towards glory with 4-2 on the scoreboard.

There was time for some highly commendable sportsmanship. At a pivotal juncture, Bopanna conceded a point at 2-4, knowing an Ebden forehand brushed his arm to change direction.

Ram and Salisbury didn’t blink again and with two hours on the clock, they completed quite the turnaround to rule New York once again.

With this win, the American-British combination extended their New York winning streak to an astonishing 18 matches and collected their fourth Grand Slam as a combination. They became the first team in the Open Era to win three straight US Open men’s doubles crowns

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