India’s Rohan Bopanna and his Australian partner Matthew Ebden reached their third Masters final of the season after winning their Shanghai Masters semi-final on Saturday.
By reaching the final, the Indo-Australian pair also qualified for the year-end ATP Finals for the first time.
The fourth-seeded pair beat the French pair of Fabien Reboul and Sadio Doumbia in the semi-final. In a cagey first set, both Bopanna and Ebden survived break points. However, the pair raised their game in the tie-breaker to win the set 7-6 (0).
The Indo-Australian pair had breakpoints in the fourth game of the second set but could not convert them. They were then broken in the seventh game of the second set as Reboul and Doumbia won the set 6-4 to force the match tie-breaker.
Once again, the experienced pair of Bopanna and Ebden came clutch in the tie-break to claim a 7-6(0), 4-6, 10-2 and reach their third final of the season.
The pair had won the final at the Indian Wells Masters but lost in the final of the Paris Masters.
While Bopanna has played in the year-end ATP Finals twice before, this will be Ebden’s first appearance.
Bopanna finished as a runner-up in his previous two outings at the 2012 and 2015 ATP Finals. In the 2012 final, Bopanna and Mahesh Bhupathi lost to Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez. In the 2015 Finals, Bopanna and Florin Marega lost to Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau