Matthew Ebden and Rohan Bopanna advance to the Australian Open quarterfinal.Rohan Bopanna of India and Matthew Ebden of Australia advanced to the Australian Open men’s doubles quarterfinals.Indian Press TrustUpdated @ 01:42 PM IST on January 22, 2024Two minutes to read
Matthew Ebden and Rohan Bopanna advance to the Australian Open quarterfinal.
Rohan Bopanna of India and Matthew Ebden, his Australian partner© Twitter
In Melbourne on Monday, India’s Rohan Bopanna and his Australian partner Matthew Ebden defeated Croatia’s Nikola Mektic and the Netherlands’ Wesley Koolhof 7-6 7-6 to advance to the men’s doubles quarterfinals of the Australian Open. Despite being broken early in both sets, the 43-year-old Bopanna and Ebden—who are ranked second in the draw—showed they were capable of winning by producing some impressive returns against the 14th-seeded players. The sixth-seeded Argentine pair of Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni will be the next opponent for the Indo-Australian combination.
In the men’s doubles tournament, they are also the highest seeded pair still competing, and their victory on Monday against the former world’s top-ranked doubles combination was impressive.
In the second game of the opening set, Bopanna’s serve let him down as the 14th seeds quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first fifteen minutes of play.
But the seasoned Indian, who just announced his retirement from Davis Cup play, was back in form with some of his trademark backhand down the lines and brilliant overhead lobs that were put just inches inside the baseline.
Mektic and Koolhof produced several costly unforced mistakes in the seventh game of the opening set, which gave the Indo-Aussie duo an opportunity to gain some momentum.
They maintained their composure and served, and there was no turning back for them after that. Being a dynamic player at the net, Bopanna’s side won half of the points thanks to his anticipatory play and superb volleys in the alley between Koolhof and Mektic. The opponents were caught off guard by the accurate bisection.
Bopanna also dropped his first service game in the second set, as the Dutch-Croat team led 4-2 and seemed to be about to pull off an unlikely comeback.
Despite giving up breaks in both games, Mektic’s first serve truly let their team down, with a success ratio of just 55% as opposed to the victors’ astounding 77 percent. On his serve, Ebden didn’t drop a single game.
Bopanna stepped up his game once more in the eighth game of the second set, forcing the opponents to make mistakes that allowed them to tie the score.
Bopanna-Ebden jumped off to a 3-0 lead in the tie-breaker, and their opponents had little chance of catching up after that.