TURIN: Indian tennis star Rohan Bopanna, alongside his doubles partner Matthew Ebden of Australia, secured a spot in the ATP Finals’ semifinals by defeating Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski with a score of 6-4, 7-6(5) in a crucial Red Group qualification decider on Friday.
The third-seed Indo-Australian pair produced a strong performance on serve, winning 88 per cent (35/40) of points behind their first delivery to improve to 2-1 in Red Group play after 84 minutes.
Bopanna is making his fourth appearance in the year-end event, while Ebden is debuting.
With their 40th tour-level win of the season, the duo secured a spot in the knockout stages alongside defending champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury.
The Ram and Salisbury are 2-0 in Red Group and will face already-eliminated Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler in their final round-robin match on Friday evening.
Earlier this week, the 43-year-old Bopanna became the oldest player to win a match in the tournament’s history. The Indian-Australian pair first teamed up at the start of this season and enjoyed an impressive year together, winning tour-level trophies in Doha and Indian Wells.
Bopanna and Ebden can still finish the season with year-end ATP Doubles No. 1 honours. They must reach the final in Turin to pass already-eliminated Dodig and Krajicek, who are in the top spot. Koolhof and Skupski can no longer finish the season at No. 1, according to ATP Tour. IANS