Madrid Open: Mergea/Bopanna pair wins doubles final against Matkowski/Zimonjic to get first ATP title


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New pairing Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea withstood a spirited fightback from Marcin Matkowski and Nenad Zimonjic to capture their first ATP World Tour team title on Sunday in Madrid, reports.

The Indian/Romanian duo saved one match point as they edged Matkowski/Zimonjic 6-2, 6-7(5), 11-9 in 85 minutes in the final of the Mutua Madrid Open.

“We are very happy,” said Bopanna. “It’s a great title for us, winning on the clay. Especially for me, because it’s my first title on the clay. Playing with a guy like Florin, he’s a good friend and I’ve known him for a long time, so it’s nice to get a title with him.”

“We’ve been working really hard and we believe in ourselves,” said Mergea. “We know what to do on the court to win these matches. Obviously, at some point, luck can come into the equation, but we’ve kept our heads down and believed in ourselves. We played our best tennis each day and we got the title in the end. So it’s been a great week for us here.”

After breaking twice to secure the opening set, Bopanna and Mergea met with more resistance in the second set, but found themselves closing in on victory as they opened up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break. However, Matkowski/Zimonjic reeled off six of the next seven points to deny their opponents and force a Match Tie-break.

Bopanna and Mergea looked in danger of letting another lead slip in the tense decider. Having raced to a 6-0 advantage, they were pegged back to 7-7 and narrowly avoided defeat as Matkowski’s forehand return landed just wide on match point at 9-8. Bopanna and Mergea made no mistake on their first match point at 10-9, converting as Matkowski’s backhand volley landed marginally long.

Mergea has won thus his fourth career title, while Bopanna got his 13th, the media reports. The prize amounts to EUR 247,560 and 1,000 ATP points. Mergea and Bopanna were awarded by the owner of the tournament Ion Tiriac.

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