Rohan Bopanna wins French Open 2017
Top Indian doubles player Rohan Bopanna took top honours at the French Open today with partner Gabriela Dabrowski. The Indo-Canadian combine took a well-fought come-from-behind win against Colombia’s Robert Farah and partner Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany to win 2-6, 6-2, 12-10 with the match going to a super tie-breaker, as is the case in the mixed doubles.
This marks the second time Bopanna reached a Grand Slam final – the first in 2010 with partner Aisam ul-Haq Qureshi in the men’s doubles at the US Open that year; the two would eventually lose in two set tiebreaks to the Bryan brothers.
Bopanna is now the fourth Indian to win a Grand Slam, and also the fourth to win the French Open mixed doubles title; Mahesh Bhupathi won in 1999 with Risa Ozaki and again with Sania Mirza, while Leander Paes was the defending champion with partner Martina Hingis.
Dabrowski is the first ever Canadian woman to win a Grand Slam; Daniel Nestor was the first Canadian man.
37-year-old Bopanna has concluded what has been a very successful clay court season; the Indian also took the men’s doubles trophy at the prestigious ATP Masters 1000 event the Monte-Carlo Masters with partner Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.
The first set saw Bopanna and Dabrowski outclassed at the net by the firepower of German ace Anna-Lena Groenefeld. Farah’s backhands were also incredibly accurate, some of them bisecting their Indo-Canadian rivals. That gave the Colombian-German combine a quick 2-6 set in 20 minutes, with Bopanna and Dabrowski firmly on the back foot.
But the two picked up their game by leaps and bounds in Set 2, both firing at the net and Dabrowski generating firepower on her backhand shot after shot. Bopanna, in full athletic form, returned shots from every corner of the court, with the elevated level of gameplay making for some great rallies.
Despite some wide shots from Dabrowski and Bopanna, the pair clawed back and fought for every point in the match tiebreak, and on their second championship point won 12-10 to seal the match.