Rohan Bopanna and his Romanian partner Florin Mergea started their campaign at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finale with a bang, beating top seeds and defending champions Bob and Mike Bryan in straight sets in their men’s doubles opening rubber of Group Ashe/Smith here.
Making their debut as a team, the eighth seeded Indo-Romanian pair took an hour to register a 6-4 6-3 win over the legendary American pair in the round robin encounter at the O2 Arena here last night.
Bopanna and Mergea, who were the last pair to qualify for the event, defeated the Bryan brothers the second time out of their four meetings so far. The last time they had beaten the American combo was in the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon earlier this year.
In the opening set today, both the pairs got a number of break points to go neck-and-neck before Bopanna held on in the 10th game to grab the initial advantage.
Both the teams got five breakpoints each but the Indo-Romanian pair manged to convert three as compared to two by their opponents.
The second set saw Bopanna and Mergea breaking early to take a 2-0 lead. Thereafter they had it easy and the eighth seeds simply tightened the nooze.
The American pair committed a couple of unforced errors and the two crucial break points enabled Bopanna and Mergea to wrap up the match with a comfortable win.
Currently placed at the top of the four-team group, Bopanna and Mergea will next take on British-Australian fourth seeded duo of Jamie Murray and John Peers.
The tournament is a year-ending event, where only the top-eight players/pairs can take part.