Rohan Bopanna’s agonising doubles exit ends Indian challenge at US Open

Despite playing some valiant tennis, Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov succumbed to Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in the US Open doubles quarter-finals.

By Utathya Nag

In what was a match decided by the thinnest of margins, India's Rohan Bopanna and his Canadian partner Denis Shapovalov were beaten 7-5, 7-5 by the Netherlands’ Jean-Julien Rojer and Romania’s Horia Tecau in the US Open 2020 doubles quarter-finals on Monday.

Bopanna was the last Indian remaining at the US Open after youngster Sumit Nagal’s exit from the singles event following a loss to world No. 3 Dominic Thiem and Divij Sharan and his partner’s first-round exit from doubles.

The early stages of the doubles quarter-final saw some big serves fly in from both sides and there was little to choose between the two teams.

There were no break points in the opening 11 games as the highly-competitive first set hung by a thread at 6-5.

In the all-important final game of the set, Bopanna-Shapovalov faltered.

With the Indian serving to try and take the set into the tie-breaker, Rojer, in particular, stepped up with some hefty returns from the baseline and broke Bopanna to clinch the first set 7-5.

Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov went down in straight sets in the US Open 2020 quarterfinals.

Having come from behind to win in their last match against Germany’s Andreas Mies and Kevin Krawietz, the Indo-Canadian duo took the court for the second set looking to an encore.

Bopanna and Shapovalov came close to breaking Tecau and Rojer in the third game of the second set but the Dutch-Romanian pairing managed to save the break point and held their serve.

The fourth – Bopanna’s serve – again was a tight game with the Indo-Canadian duo having to dig deep to save a break point of their own and level it up at 2-2 after three deuces.

In almost what was a repeat of the first set, Bopanna found himself on the serve yet again – this time to save the match -- with the second set at 6-5 in favour of Rojer-Tecau.

The 40-year-old Bopanna, unfortunately, committed a double fault at a crucial stage and failed to recover, eventually conceding the game 40-30 to the opponents and with it, the match.

Despite a straight-set loss, the match involving 24 games was played over almost one-and-a-half hours and saw only two break points converted throughout the contest.

US Open doubles semi-finals decided

With the win, Rojer and Tecau advanced to the semi-finals, where they will face Croatia’s Mate Pavic and Brazilian Bruno Soares.

In the other semi-final, third seeds Rajeev Ram of the USA and Joe Salisbury of United Kingdom - the Australian Open 2020 doubles winners - will face eighth seeds Nikola Mektic of Croatia and Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands.