Pune, Jan 6 (SocialNews.XYZ) The all-Indian pair of N Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan stormed into the men's doubles final at the Tata Open Maharashtra, beating the British pair of Julian Cash and Henry Patten in straight sets at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, here on Friday.
In the final, they will take on the Belgian duo Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen, who overcame the US Open men's doubles winners and top seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 7-6(3), 7-6(4) in the first semifinal.
Balaji and Nedunchezhiyan, two singles players who have come together to play doubles recently, looked in top form as they defeated the British combination 6-4, 7-5 in one hour and 25 minutes at the Centre Court here.
Nedunchezhiyan and Balaji earned the lone break in the fifth game to go 3-2 up and then continued to hold their service to win the first set. Games went with serve in the second set till 5-5 when Nedunchezhiyan and Balaji earned the all-crucial break in the 11th game. They held their nerves to hold their services in the next game to clinch victory.
This is the second successive year that an Indian pair has reached the final. Last year, Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan won the title. This year, both Bopanna and Ramkumar had paired with different partners and lost in earlier rounds.
The first semifinal between the fourth-seeded Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen and the top-ranked pair of Rajeev Ram (USA) and Joe Salisbury (GBR) was a hard-fought one and decided in two tiebreaks as none of the pairs could manage to break serve.
Though the two pairs played some brilliant shots, the Belgian pair was more consistent with the execution of their shots and managed to claw back most of the times the US-British pair put them under pressure.
Ram and Salisbury had defeated India's Ramkumar Ramanathan and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela of Mexico in the quarterfinals.