Madrid: Indian tennis ace Rohan Bopanna won his third title of the 2015 season and first with new partner Florin Mergea as they lifted the Madrid Open trophy with a tense win over Nenand Zimonjic and Martin Matkowski, here on Sunday.
Bopanna and his Romanian partner saved a match point before overcoming the challenge of the fifth seeds 6-2 6-7(5) 11-9 in one hour and 24 minutes in the final of the euro 4,185,405 clay court Masters event.
Bopanna had won two titles with Daniel Nestor in Sydney and Dubai at the start of the season before splitting with the Canadian.
With Mergea it was his second final, having ended runners-up at the Casablanca event, last month.
They split euro 247,560 prize money and earned valuable 1000 ranking points each.
Bopanna and Mergea raced to a 4-1 lead with an early break and never allowed their rivals to come back in the opening set. They kept the pressure on and earned three set points in the eighth game, converting the third to take first set in a matter of just 23 minutes.
Matkowski and Zimonjic put up fight in the second set as they broke Mergea in the third game. However Bopanna and Mergea prevented them from building on that early lead with an immediate break-back effort.
Bopanna too faced a break chance in the fifth game after hitting an ace on the second serve but held after firing another service winner.
In the sixth game, the Indo-Romanian pair was 0-40 but managed to earn a breakpoint even as they could not convert it.
Nevertheless, it put Zimonjic and Matkowski under pressure as they never got easy points. The set went with serve after that, forcing a tie-breaker.
Bopanna and Mergea sprinted to a 4-1 lead but lost four points in a row to trail 4-5. They saved a set point but Zimonjic and Matkowski succeeded in taking the match to a Super Tie Breaker.
The Match tie breaker turned to be a tense affair even as Bopanna and Mergea had opened up a comfortable 6-1 lead. However soon the score was 8-8. Bopanna and the Romanian saved a match point at 8-9 and reeled off the next three points to close the contest in their favour.