Paris: Indian tennis star Rohan Bopanna and his Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski won the final of the mixed doubles category at the French Open on Thursday.
Bopanna and Dabrowski overcame the unseeded pair of Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Robert Farah of Colombia 2-6, 6-2, 12-10.
Bopanna-Dabrovski came storming back after losing the opening set and saved two match points to win the title.
They were down by two points but Farah and Groenefeld muffled the chances.
Bopanna and the Canadian then had two match points and they sealed the championship when the German double-faulted while serving at 10-11.
Dabrowski blinked first as she lost serve on the deciding point with Farah easily smashing past Bopanna on an overhead volley, set up after a rally.
Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who celebrated her 22nd birthday last Sunday, then made it 3-1 with an easy hold.
Bopanna, feeling the pressure, hit a forehand long to be be down by two breakpoints in the fifth game but managed to save both with the Canadian showing good skills at the net.
Farah though remained solid in his service game, never allowing the seventh seeds to put pressure on him.
Serving at 2-4, Dabrowski felt the heat and was broken at love when she hit a backhand long. It allowed Groenefeld to serve out the set and she did it with remarkable ease.
Bopanna began the second set with a double fault but managed to hold his serve even as he argued with the chair umpire on a line call.
The desperation was palpable and it had a debilitating effect on the seventh seeds as Dabrowski yet again failed to hold serve early in the second set.
However, Bopanna and his Canadian partner got a fresh lease of life when Groenefeld dropped serve at love in the next game.
It only got better for them when Farah was also broken in the sixth game, putting Bopanna and the Canadian ahead 4-2.
Dabrowski held her serve for the first time in the match. The German hit a forehand on to the net on Bopanna's return to be down by a set point. She saved that but lost the deciding point and it was one set apiece.
In the match tie-breaker, Bopanna and Dabrowski opened up a 3-0 lead but lost five points in a row to trail 3-5.
At 5-5, Farah in his attempt to pick up a half volley, ended up being hit on his right eye on the rebound. After a see-saw battle the Indo-Canadian pair emerged champions.
Bopanna became only the fourth Indian to win a Grand Slam trophy. Only three Indians have so far managed to lay hands on a Grand Slam trophy – the legendary Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza.
Before winning at Roland Garros on Thursday, Bopanna's previous best performance was at the 2010 US Open where he reached the finals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time with Pakistani parter Aisam-ul-haq-Qureshi but lost to the legendary Bryan brothers — Bob and Mike.
Bopanna was the lone Indian to survive in the tournament after the exits of Paes and Sania.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Jun 08, 2017 17:15 PM | Updated Date: Jun 08, 2017 18:46 PM