Doubles hope Divij Sharan knocked out of US Open

Sharan and partner Nikola Cacic fell to the Mektic-Koolhof pair in three sets in the second round of the US Open.

By Rahul Venkat

Indian tennis player Divij Sharan’s wait for a Grand Slam title continued as he, along with partner Nikola Cacic, bowed out of the US Open men’s doubles on Wednesday.

The Indo-Serbian pair fell 4-6, 6-3, 3-6 against Croatian Nikola Mektic and Dutchman Wesley Koolhof.

Sharan and Cacic were on the backfoot in the very first game as they faced three break points on their serve. However, they recovered ground quickly to win four consecutive points and take a 1-0 lead.

The eighth-seeded Mektic-Koolhof levelled the scores in the second game and then took a decisive 2-1 lead in the third.

Divij Sharan and Nikola Cacic looked uncomfortable with their service game yet again, and this time their opponents allowed them no leeway as they converted the first break point presented to them.

Both pairs held serve for the rest of the set, with none of them even offering a break point. Mektic-Koolhof closed out the set with their first set point. 

Sharan-Cacic hit back

Divij Sharan and Nikola Cacic mounted a better challenge in the second set, taking the first game without conceding a point.

They went on the offensive immediately in the second game and the strategy paid off as the Indian and his Serbian partner were handed a break point, which they duly converted.

The Indian men’s doubles tennis pair of Divij Sharan and Sriram Balaji has reached the final of the ATP Challenger event in the Czech Republic.

The re-energised Sharan and Cacic then swiftly moved into a 3-0 lead in the second set.

Neither team conceded serve after that, though the Indo-Serbian pair let go of two break points in the sixth game.

However, it did not matter in the end as Sharan-Cacic comfortably won the second set 6-3 to take the tie to the deciding set.  

Mektic-Koolhof took the lead in the third set and could have been in the driver’s seat had they won either of the two break points that Divij Sharan and Nikola Cacic gave them in the second. However, the latter pair managed to make it 1-1.

The teams tread cautiously thereon, holding serve until the eighth game when Sharan-Cacic, who had been shaky in their service games in the third set, finally gave in to the pressure.

The Indian tennis player and his partner managed to save two break points but ultimately lost serve to trail 3-5.

The Croatian-Dutch pair made the most of that opening as they quickly won four points on the trot to serve out the set and progress to the Round of 16 at the US Open.

Mektic-Koolhof will next face Simone Bolelli and Maximo Gonzalez, who beat Santiago Gonzalez and Ken Skupski 6-4, 6-3 in the second round.

What next for India at US Open

Indian tennis fans still have more action to look forward to on Thursday.

Youngster Sumit Nagal faces a formidable opponent in world No. 3 Dominic Thiem in the men’s singles second round.

Nagal had earlier beaten local hope Bradley Klahn to become the first male Indian tennis player to win a singles Grand Slam match in seven years.

Rohan Bopanna. 

Doubles specialist Rohan Bopanna will also play in his first match of the US Open on Thursday.

Bopanna has partnered with Canadian Denis Shapovalov and they will be up against the American pair of Noah Rubin and Ernesto Escobedo in the second round of the men’s doubles.

Where to watch the US Open live in India

The US Open will be broadcast on the Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 1 HD, Star Sports Select 2 and Star Sports Select 2 HD TV channels in India.

Live streaming can be seen on Star's digital platform Disney+ Hotstar.

Live coverage begins every day at 8.30 pm IST.