ATP doubles final: Bopanna-Qureshi beaten

India's lone title hope at the ONGC ATP Challenger was dashed today as Bopanna, partnering Pakistan's Aisam -Ul Haq Qureshi, lost the doubles final.

updated: December 01, 2007 10:33 IST
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New Delhi:

India's lone title hope at the ONGC ATP Challenger was dashed today as Rohan Bopanna, partnering Pakistan's Aisam -Ul Haq Qureshi, lost the doubles final to top seed Wesley Moodie and Rik De Voest.

Second seeded Qureshi and Bopanna went down 6-4 7-6 (4) to the South African pair in the USD 50,000 event at DLTA Courts in New Delhi.

Qureshi, however, continued his red hot form in singles and dispatched Adrian Cruciat of Romania 6-1 6-4 without even a semblance of fight to romp into the final.

In doubles, Bopanna and Qureshi, who had won four Challenger tournaments this season to push their doubles ranking to 69 and 91 respectively, did not quite set the courts ablaze and had to be content with 38 points besides USD 1,800 prize money.

Moodie and Voest won a purse of USD 3,100 and 55 ATP points.

Bopanna dropped his serve in the third game as Moodie, winner of 2005 Wimbledon doubles title, and Voest relied on their powerful service to clinch the first set.

Bopanna faced troubles in saving his serves too. The Indo-Pak express had their chances but could not make them count as the match reached tie-breaker which was won by Moodie and Voest 4-7.

Qureshi, however, sizzled in singles and took just one hour to pack off Adrian in straight sets to reach his second Challenger final of the season.

Qureshi, seeded sixth, will have to get past Korea's An Sung Jae to lift his first ATP Challenger title tomorrow.

An Sung got the better of Martin Slanar of Austria 6-4 7-6 (4) in the other semifinal.

The 27-year-old Qureshi, who made it to the Wimbledon second round this season, did not put a foot wrong against Adrian and looks favourite to grab the title tomorrow.

His repertoire of strokes on display was awesome. Crisp volleys, daring winners and above all those booming serves all came out with perfection.

Time and again in the tournament, Qureshi's searing serves -- his most potent weapon -- had rattled the opposition and it was no different today.

He hit 16 aces altogether and that took the steam out of Adrian.

Four of those booming serves passed Adrian in the very first game of the first set which Qureshi pocketed in a flash.

He broke Adrian in the second and fourth game and raced to a 5-0 lead. Such was his control that he conceded just one point at his own service till then.

He could have taken it 6-0 but for the break point which went abegging in the sixth.

The second set was hardly different as Adrian dropped his service in the seventh game. Adrian's one last effort to break Qureshi in the 10th game bore no fruit.

Serving at 5-4, the Pakistani twice double faulted as the score read 30-30 but then he went back to his reserves and unleashed three aces to finish off the affair.