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Teaming up for the first time on the ATP Tour, Indians Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan won the Adelaide International doubles trophy with a hard-fought 7-6(6) 6-1 win over top seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo here on Sunday. .

Bopanna’s excellent serving returns at crucial moments and Ramkumar’s all-around game tilted the match in his favour.

In the one hour and 21 minute contest, the Indians saved all four break points they faced and broke their opponents twice.

It was Bopanna’s 20th ATP doubles title and the first for Ramkumar, who was playing in only his second top match at this level, having finished runner-up at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in 2018.

“When Ramkumar is serving next to you, you can finish the point early, so that was an advantage,” said Bopanna.

Asked how different it was to play Ramkumar than another compatriot and left-hander Divij Sharan, Bopanan said: “With Divij, we had to create a point, make sure the first volley opportunity is taken, whereas with Ram, the point can be finished early.

“I am surprised that not many Indians participated in this event. If someone had landed here, they would have entered the field as there weren’t many players there.”

Bopanna and Ramkumar will split USD 18,700 in prize money and earn 250 ranking points each.

Victory would be a huge confidence booster for Ramkumar ahead of the Australian Open Qualifiers, where he will attempt to reach the Grand Slam singles main draw once again.

After saving an early break point, Bopanna and Ramkumar upped their game. In game seven, when Melo served at 30-0, Bopanna’s unrecoverable serve to Dodig’s forehand and later a crushing forehand winner made it 30-30, but the Brazilian ultimately held on.

Bopanna then saved another break point and converted the decisive deuce point to make it 4-4.

Serving to stay afloat in the set at 5-6, the Indian pair were up 40-30 when Dodig created a Bopanna service winner past Ramkumar to his right, but Coorgi, serving big, netted a ace to take the tie. -Automatic switch.

At 6-6, Bopanna found a service return winner on Melo’s serve to win her second set point and converted on her booming serve.

It was one-way traffic in the second set with the Indians dominating the entire time.

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