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  • Bopanna-Qureshi end runner-up at US Open

    Published on September 11, 2010

    Gunning for their first Grand Slam title, Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq fought their hearts out but had to be content with a runners-up trophy at the US Open as the Indo-Pak Express lost the men’s doubles final 6-7(6) 6-7 (3) to Americans top seeds Mike and Bob Bryan.

    Bopanna and Qureshi, 16th seeds, did not look like a team playing their first ever Grand Slam final as they made the world number one pair work hard for points and played enthralling tennis for more than one-and-a-half hours.

    It was nevertheless a dream run for the two players as for the first time an Indian and a Pakistani player combined to reach the final of a Grand Slam event.

    They might have failed to win a title but Bopanna and Qureshi were successful in sending the message loud and clear that sport can help dissolve the boundaries and India and Pakistan can watch, play and earn glory.

    They wore the t-shirts with slogan — stop war start tennis — to send the message of peace in the two countries, at loggerheads since the partition days.

    For Bryan brothers, it was their second Grand Slam title of the season and also a revenge victory, having lost the Washington quarter-finals to the Indo-Pak team. For the Bryan brothers, this title was their ninth men’s doubles crown.

    Bopanna was bidding to become only the fourth Indian player to win a Grand Slam but for him it turned out to be a case of close yet so far.

    For Qureshi, it was double heart-break as he lost the mixed doubles yesterday and today the men’s doubles.

    Hardly showing any signs of nerves they went about their business impressively, not dropping a game in the first set and in fact, created the first break chance.

    Bob’s serve was too hot to handle so they attacked weak serve of Mike, and a forehand volley by Bopanna earned them the breakpoint in the third game. But the crowd favourite Bryan brothers saved that.

    They were more dominant at the start of the first-set tie-breaker but the Bryan brothers knew how to handle big points and came back from 1-3 down to win the tie breaker and the lead.

    Both the pairs though played fascinating tennis as Bopanna hit some stunning shots, especially a backhand winner on the fourth point, and the Bryan brothers were a treat to watch at the net.

    The Americans raised their game when it mattered and were in more control of the match in the second set, which saw the favourites clinching points more easily.

    There is a wide gulf between the two teams as far as experience of playing big matches is concerned as the world number one Americans were playing their 17th Grand Slam final while for Bopanna and ureshi, a quarter-final appearance at the Wimbledon this year was the best performance of their careers.

    No team has won doubles titles more than the Bryan brothers and the Indo-Pak pair had won just one ATP event together this season.


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