French Open: Rohan Bopanna-Matwe Middelkoop win an epic clash | Tennis News
The Indonesian-Dutch duo rallied to score a 6-7(5), 7-6(3), 7-6(10) victory over No. 2 seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in 2 hours and 32 minutes.
In a contest that saw a few sniper shots, two of which came off the Indian’s racket – a forehand slap and an upside-down ball that kicked chalk – Bopanna and Middelkoop seemed good and really done halfway through the decision maker. They led 1-3 and faced two break points on Midelkoop’s serve in the fifth game. They accelerated from there and beat Mektic in game ten after the Croats had match point.
In the deciding super tie-break, the No. 2 seeds went up 6-9 and got another match point at 10-9. On their first chance, however, after an action-packed 2 hours and 31 minutes with the stands packed in favor of the underdogs, Bopanna and Middelkoop crossed the finish line as their opponents flashed.
“It’s easy to sit here and say it now, but when you’re in these situations, you tend to take one point at a time. That’s how you’re conditioned,” Bopanna said.
Considering the weight of the opposition, the twists and turns of the match and the stage, the third round of a Grand Slam, the 42-year-old called Saturday’s result his best game in a long time.
Bopanna, who is looking to make his first Grand Slam semi-final in seven years, and Midelkoop will face Britain’s Lloyd Glasspool and Finland’s Harri Heliovaara in the last eight.
Bopanna and Slovenia’s Andreja Klepac, the fifth seeds, beat American substitutes Asia Muhammad and Glasspool 6-1, 6-4 in their first mixed doubles match.
Sania Mirza and Czech Lucie Hradecka, the tenth seeds in women’s doubles, beat the Slovenian duo of Kaja Juvan and Tamara Zidansek 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the pre-quarter-finals.
The Indo-Czech pair will next face the all-American combination of Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula.