Rohan Bopanna and Gabriela Dabrowski turned things around from not just one set down but also saved two match points in the Super Tiebreak to claim their maiden French Open crown on Thursday. The Indo-Canadian pairing in the end prevailed 2-6, 6-2, 12-10 to win in one hour and six minutes. The contest ended in the most heartbreaking fashion with Anna-Lena Groenefeld serving a double fault after the decisive super tiebreak went both ways. Bopanna has thus become the fourth Indian to win a Grand Slam title after Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza.
Bopanna and Dabrowski started strongly in the super tiebreak after winning the second set to lead 3-0. But their lead was cancelled out in strong fashion by the German-Colombian pairing who served well and played better at the net to take five points in a row. Bopanna’s double fault too came at the worst possible time. But he turned things around with a strong serve to keep it down to one point.
The Indian pairing then raced away with two straight points thanks to two good returns of serve which produced a tame reply and were duly dispatched. The second of those had Farah not connecting properly with the racket and the ball ricocheting to hit his eye. He needed the trainer to come out at this stage which held up play for a brief period.
Groenefeld brought up two match points for the pairing but she couldn’t close out the match while going for a backhand down the line. The second chance went begging too with Dabrowski returning strongly towards Groenefeld at the net who couldn’t keep the ball down and the tiebreak was now level at 9-9. The Canadian brought up match point for her team with a good volley at the net despite the ball coming straight at her body.
However, Farah’s good return on Dabrowski’s serve and then Groenefeld’s volley winner kept the match still alive. But Dabrowski came back with a good serve on the deuce court to force the German into an error and bring up a second match point. This was duly converted by Bopanna-Dabrowski.
In the first two sets, the two teams exchanged crucial blows but neither were able to keep hold of the momentum. Where Bopanna-Dabrowski started poorly, they picked up pace in the second set.
(Will be updated)