London, Nov 22 (IANS) India’s Rohan Bopanna and Romanian Florin Mergea missed a golden chance to clinch the prestigious $7 million ATP World Tour Finals as they went down to the Dutch-Romanian pair of Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in straight sets in the men’s doubles summit clash on the indoor hard courts of the O2 Arena. Second seeds Tecau-Rojer needed just 60 minutes to defeat eighth-seeded Bopanna-Mergea 6-4, 6-3 to clinch the title in what can be called a one-sided encounter. The 35-year-old Bopanna, who made his second appearance at the year-ending tournament finals on Sunday after losing the 2012 final in a super tie-break while partnering compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi, missed a chance to be the first Indian to win the elite tournament.
The second seeds were the far better pair on the day. From the return of serves to first serves and second serves, everything went their way and were more effective to put the match completely in their favour. The Dutch-Romanian pair started the clash on a positive note, serving half a dozen of aces, along with one breakpoint and 12 out of 18 first serve points which helped them go 1-0 up in style and hold an advantage of the match. Bopanna-Mergea came back strongly in the second set by serving four aces and winning seven out of 10 first serve points. But their opponent after winning the first set gathered a lot of confidence and was not in a mood to give the match away. Grabbing 11 out of 13 first serve points and breaking the eighth seeds on both occasions made their task easier and eventually went on clinch the year-ending title in style. With this win, the pair held on to their all-win record against Bopanna-Mergea. Tecau-Rojer have defeated the Indian-Romanian pair in all three meetings — 2015 Wimbledon, 2015 French Open and 2015 ATP World Tour Masters in Rome. No Indian has ever won the elite tournament where only the season’s top eight players/pairs get to play the year-ending event.
Bhupathi and Leander Paes reached the final of the tournament thrice in 1997, 1999 and 2000, losing all three contests. Paes then reached the final once again with Serbian Nenad Zimonjic in 2005. Bhupathi reached it in 2010 with Belarus’ Max Mirnyi before Bhupathi and Bopanna joined hands to lose the 2012 final.