Indian doubles pair of N Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan entered the Tata Open Maharashtra draw as an alternate team, but have now made it to the final of India’s only ATP 250 event.
The duo came up with a 6-4, 7-5 win in the semifinal over British team Julian Cash and Henry Patten on Friday at the Balewadi Tennis Stadium in Pune. Meanwhile, in singles, world No 60 Benjamin Bonzi of France will play world No 96 Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor in the final.
The Indian pair has been in fine form in Pune and has not dropped a set. They won their first round match against Purav Raja and Divij Sharan 6-4, 6-3.
In the quarterfinal, they came up against second seeded American team of Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow, but managed to get the win in a gripping match that was decided in two tiebreakers, with the Indians winning 7-6 (6), 7-5 (5).
They will next play fourth seeds from Belgium Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen for the title.
For Jeevan, this is his third ATP final after winning the Chennai Open in 2017 with Rohan Bopanna and finishing as runner-up in Chengdu with Austin Krajicek. Balaji will be playing in his first tour final.
Bonzi registered a sensational 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 6-1 victory against second seed and world No 35 Botic van de Zandschulp to progress into the singles final.
The 26-year-old Bonzi began the semifinal by winning an exciting opening set but Van de Zandschulp fought-back well, taking away the next which saw equally intense battle between the two as both the sets went into tie-breakers.
Bonzi, however, shifted gears impressively in the decider and looked in complete control as he not only made a spectacular comeback to pocket the set in a dominating fashion but also clinched the nail-biting three-setter.
Bonzi will face Griekspoor in the final on Saturday. Griekspoor, ranked 95th in the world, sent packing eight seed Aslan Karatsev 7-6 (4), 6-1 in the other semifinal.