Bopanna/Ebden find late surge to clinch Miami crown

Duo lifts second ATP Masters 1000 trophy as a team
March 30, 2024
Matthew Ebden and Rohan Bopanna triumph on Saturday at the Miami Open presented by Itau. By ATP Staff

Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden raised their level at the perfect moment to charge to victory Saturday at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

The pair reeled off the final six points of the championship match for a 6-7(3), 6-3, 10-6 triumph against Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek inside Hard Rock Stadium. Bopanna and Ebden had three set points on serve at 6-5 in the opening set but were then forced to rally from a set down as the clash between the top two seeded teams lived up to its name in Miami.

“It’s tough. These guys, they fight back in tough moments,” said Ebden after he and Bopanna sealed a one-hour, 43-minute win. “Last time we played them it was similar, it’s a bit of a see-saw. They return so well, make so many balls and we missed one or two shots when we were up [at the end of] the first set. They played a great tie-break, and then we just reset.

“We just tried a different method. We just relaxed and let ourselves play, and just saw what happened. It turned out well.”

With their victory, the Australian Open champions Bopanna and Ebden improved to 14-3 for the 2024 season. Their Miami triumph was their second at ATP Masters 1000 level after their 2023 title run in Indian Wells, and it has ensured they consolidate their position in first place in the PIF ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings.

Their ability to find precise serves at important moments proved crucial to them levelling their Lexus ATP Head2Head series with Dodig and Krajicek at 1-1. Bopanna and Ebden won 78 per cent (39/50) of points behind their first serves and saved seven of eight break points they faced in the match, according to Infosys ATP Stats.

“I think it’s important, especially when we play no-Ad scoring, and Match Tie-breaks,” said Bopanna when asked about his serving prowess. “Every time I hit a serve, I felt it was very accurate, and it’s an extremely important aspect of tennis. Everyone starts a point with that serve, and that’s the only thing we have that we are in control of.”

Having become the oldest Masters 1000 titlist in Indian Wells last year, the 44-year-old Bopanna also broke his own record by claiming the Miami crown.

“It’s amazing. As long as you are doing well in these big events, it’s what we play for,” said Bopanna. “I want to do well in the Masters 1000s and the Grand Slams. It’s good to keep that record going and keep giving everyone else a run for their money.”

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