DUBAI: Rohan Bopanna secured his third title with three different partners at the Dubai Open, as he and Canada’s Daniel Nestor cruised to a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Aisam Qureshi and Nenad Zimonjic in Saturday’s final.
The curious thing about the match was that Bopanna-Qureshi had beaten the Nestor-Zimonjic combo in the title clash last year. It was the same four players battling for the championship yet again, but swapping partners seemed to suits the victors far more. Bopanna-Nestor served sharp and played solid through the match to romp home in just 51 minutes.
“We stuck to our strengths playing aggressive tennis, and a lot of high percentage of first serves which I think was the key. Put a lot of pressure on them,” said Bopanna after the match. It was the second title for the Indo-Canadian pair in the first two months of the season.
Even as Bopanna-Nestor focused on doing things wells and minimizing errors on their side, they were amply helped by some nerves from the other side of the court. Zimonjic served a double fault to concede a 5-4 lead, and then Qureshi did the repeat on deciding point in the first game of the second set. With a set and break up, Bopanna and Nestor were quick to close down on the match.
“The momentum really shifted to our side. Once we got the second break in the second set, I think they were already — their body language was already down, and we just had to make sure we had to keep our game high,” the Indian said. He had previously won the Dubai Open with Mahesh Bhupathi (2012) and Qureshi (2014).