Indian pair of N Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan’s dream run came to an end in the final hurdle at the fifth edition of the Tata Open Maharashtra after they were defeated by the fourth-seeded duo of Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen 6-4, 6-4 in the doubles title clash at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune on Saturday.

Later in the night, French tennis star Benjamin Bonzi went down against Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor who won his maiden ATP Tour title.

In doubles, it was the sixth ATP Tour title for the Belgian duo, who entered the title clash after defeating the No. 1 seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the semifinals last night. Their last title came in Singapore in 2021.

The Indians, on the other hand, had an impressive run in the tournament since making an entry as an alternative pair. They shocked No 2 seeds Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow earlier in the quarterfinals.

Balaji and Jeevan started the game on a winning note by taking 1-0 lead. However, Gille-Vliegen quickly shifted gears and, despite some resistance from the Indians, pocketed the opening set 6-4 convincingly.

The Tamil Nadu-born duo, playing their maiden ATP Tour final since making tour-level debut as a team in 2012, managed to win a game when they were trailing 2-4 down in the second set and put up a strong fight, showing signs of a comeback. But, Gille-Vliegen continued to play aggressively and did not allow Indians to recover before wrapping up the set as well as the match in one hour and 10 minutes.

In a match of small margins, two breaks of serve were enough for the Belgian duo to win the title and both pairs were congratulatory at the end of each other for their week in Pune.

Dutchman Griekspoor dropped the first set but pulled off a stunning come-from-behind 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 win against the World No. 60 Bonzi in a thrilling singles final.

The blockbuster summit clash lived up to the expectations from the word go as Bonzi and the World No. 95 Griekspoor fought hard for each point and exhibited a world-class level of energy and athleticism, moving well across the court. The 26-year-old Bonzi, somehow, managed to take the charge in the first set after 4-4 as he added five successive points to secure it 6-4 and take 1-0 lead in the match.

Griekspoor looked in no mood to give up easily as the second set too witnessed a nail-biting competition when both the players, with a career-high ranking of 44, denied the opponent a big lead. Leading at 4-3, Bonzi looked more comfortable amongst the two as he bagged four consecutive points to make it 5-4 but, serving big, Griekspoor pulled off an incredible turnaround not only to level the scores but also to take the match into the decider.
He carried the momentum in the crucial third set, keeping himself ahead in the match at 3-1 and then stretched the lead further to 4-2 before clinching the set as well as the match comfortably in the end.

The ongoing edition of South Asia’s only ATP 250 event is conducted by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association in association with the Government of Maharashtra for the fifth year in Pune.