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French Open: Bopanna/Ebden lose to Italian pair, crash out in semis

Paris: India’s Rohan Bopanna and his Australian partner Matthew Ebden crashed out of the French Open, losing to the Italian pair of Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori in a three-set semifinal at Court Simonne-Mathieu here on Thursday. Australian Open champions Bopanna/Ebden, the second seeds here, went down to Bolelli/Vavassori, seeded 11th in the tournament, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2 in the men’s doubles encounter.

In the semifinal encounter, the 44-year-old Bopanna and 36-year-old Ebden got off to a good start but lost the first set. They earned a break in the fourth game and went ahead but the Italian pair responded with two breaks — the second and decisive one in the 11th game with a forcing shot helping them take the first set in 48 minutes. Bopanna/Ebden started the second set on a positive note and raced to a 3-0 lead breaking their opponents’ in the second game. They held on to all of their serves and took the contest into the decider with the second break in the eighth game.

While Bopanna seemed on song in the decider, Ebden took multiple medical timeouts and looked in discomfort. The Italian duo broke Ebden’s service twice to seal their places in the final of the French Open. Bopanna and Ebden had reached the semifinals at the French Open on Wednesday, beating last year’s finalists Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen of Belgium in three sets.

Bopanna/Ebden beat Gille/Vliegen 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-1. The Indo-Australian pair had lost to the Belgian pair, seeded 10th in this event, at Indian Wells earlier this season.


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