Fourth seeded Israeli par Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram stunned the top seeds and crowd favourites Mahesh Bhupati and Rohan Bopanna 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 in the semi-finals of the Chennai Open on Saturday.
Bopanna and Bhupathi
The Indian duo of Bhupati and Bopanna broke in the fifth game of the first set and seemed set for an easy win when they won the set at 6-4.
In the second set too, the Indian pair got off to a quick start breaking in the very first game when Bhupati hit a wonderful return winner. When they consolidated their break to go 2-0 up, they looked set to reach the final. However things turned rapidly as Bhupathi was broken to level the set at 2-2.
The super tie break was very close as both teams wrestled for the advantage at 4-4. Thereafter Erlich and Ram raised their level of play and came up with some superb winners -- the highlight being a stinging return winner and a wonderful lob that had Bopanna rushing back to the baseline in vain.
The Israeli duo led 9-6 having 3 match points. The Indians saved two of them with some spirited play but couldn't stave off the third losing a close tie breaker at 10-8.
Quizzed on the positives they can take from the match, Bhupati and Bopanna said they were pleased that they got some good match practice here.
Lee-Janko in final
Meanwhile, Leander Paes and Serbian Janko Tipsarevic defeated S Lipsky and R Ram 6-2, 6-7, 10-7 to book their spot in the final.