Melbourne: The pair of Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden sealed a spot in the men's doubles quarterfinals of the Australian Open with a victory over Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic in a tight two-set match 7-6 (8), 7-6 (4) in Melbourne Park on Monday.
Koolhof-Mektic took the early initiative and claimed the lead, breaking the 43-year-old Bopanna's serve as early as the second game of the opening set. To offset the lead, the Indo-Australian duo counterattacked in the seventh game, breaking Mektic.
Bopanna-Ebden's expertise helped them win 10-8 in the tiebreaker after the set eventually went to it.
The second group followed a similar pattern as well. In the sixth game, Koolhof-Mektic secured the first break point by breaking Bopanna once more. The score was tied at 6-6 when Bopanna and Ebden broke Mektic in the eighth inning.
In an hour and forty-three minutes, Bopanna-Ebden emerged victorious in a tie-break set and secured their place in the quarterfinal. Bopanna and Ebden will be up against the sixth-seeded Argentine pair of Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni in their final-eight clash.
Earlier, the Indian-Australian duo dazzled at Court No. 3 to move past John Millman and Edward Winter to reach the third round.
In a brisk encounter, Bopanna and Ebden effortlessly registered a straight-set 6-2, 6-4 victory over the wildcard pair. The seasoned team was unbeatable in every aspect, but they were especially strong in first serves, winning 80 per cent of them versus Millman and Winter's 68 per cent. The pair also hit 17 winners to their opponents' 11 and had the fastest serve of the match at 203 kmph.
In the opening round of the season's first Grand Slam, the Indian-Australian duo were asked all sorts of questions by James Duckworth and Marc Polmans. They defeated the Australian pair by 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (10-2) to seal their birth in the next round. (ANI)