Bopanna creates history.
US OPEN: Bopanna and Ebden displayed admirable sportsmanship in the final, but ultimately had to settle for the runners up trophy.
Rohan Bopanna's agonising wait to win his maiden men's doubles Grand Slam title continued as he lost the hard-fought US Open final with partner Matthew Ebden to defending champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury here on Friday. Playing only his second men's doubles final at a Major, Bopanna and his Australian teammate lost the title clash 6-2, 3-6, 4-6 after two hours and one minute. Ram and Salisbury became the first duo to win three straight US Open titles. Bopanna was playing the US Open final for the second time in his career and this time as the oldest player in the Open Era at 43. He had finished runner-up with Pakistan partner Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi back in 2010,losing the title clash to the Bryan brothers.
It was the third Grand Slam final for Bopanna, who won his first and only Major in 2017 when he lifted the French Open mixed doubles trophy with Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski. Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi are only two male tennis players from India to have won Grand Slam crowns. Bopanna and Ebden got the start they wanted, Breaking their rivals in the very first game and going on to win the set 6-2. Once the Indian started struggling with his serve, Ram's strategy of firing deep returns unsettled the duo. Once the holders went 4-2 up, they never looked back and took the match to the decider.
Down 2-4 in the final set, Bopanna showed exemplary sporting spirit and character when he himself conceded a point after a ball deflected off his right arm when his serving partner made a forehand return. It was considered a winner as the chair umpire could not notice the deflection but the Indian himself told the umpire that he was conceding the Point. Ebden held the serve and so did Bopanna in the next game. Ram came out to serve for the championship and there was no twist in the tale.
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