Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin win Tokyo title
India's Rohan Bopanna and his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin defeated Jamie Murray and John Peers 7-6(5), 6-4 to capture their first ATP World Tour team title Sunday at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships.
The fourth seeds took 78 minutes to dispatch off their opponents. With the win, they also improved their chance of grabbing one of the five remaining spots at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
"The strategy worked well today," said Bopanna. "We played as a team today. Edouard is very solid on return and puts pressure on the serve, which gives me the freedom to play my game."
"We started playing together after Wimbledon, so we knew that the battle to qualify for [the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals] London would be hard. We would have to do well at the big tournaments and [ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events] in Shanghai and Paris. We will take the confidence we have from here."
Roger-Vasselin admitted: "Almost everything worked well and we are very happy. We were close to losing in our first match [against Juan Monaco and Horacio Zeballos] and saved one match point in our quarter-final [against Andre Begemann and Martin Emmrich]."
The duo, who is in 16th position in the Emirates ATP Race To London, earned 500 Emirates ATP Ranking points and split $92,200 in prize money.
Bopanna, 34, is now 9-16 lifetime in tour-level finals while 29-year-old Roger-Vasselin improves to 6-1 in title matches.
Murray saved one break point at 30/40 in the fourth game, while Peers saved a set point at 4-5, sudden death deuce with an ace down the middle. In the tie-break, Murray hit a backhand volley into the net at 3-3 and gave Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin an opportunity to clinch the set.
Murray was broken to love at 1-2 in the second set. It proved to be decisive as Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin dropped just four service points in the set to earn the title.
Murray and Peers dropped to a 28-14 match record on the season, which includes three titles.
Murray and Peers share $41,600 and earn 300 Emirates ATP Ranking points for their runner-up finish. Murray, 27, is now 10-6 in finals and Peers drops to 3-1 overall.