Top seeds Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan survived another Super Tiebreak roller-coaster in the semi-finals to reach the title clash of their first ATP tournament as a pair.

The Indian pair beat Simone Bolelli and Ivan Dodig 6-3, 3-6, 15-13 in an hour and 33 minutes to reach the final of the Tata Open Maharashtra on Friday.

The duo, who had saved six match-points in the quarter-final against Leander Paes and partner Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela on Thursday, needed five match points to clinch the match against their unseeded opponents, who are both doubles Grand Slam champions. But cheered on by a raucous home crowd on Centre Court, they booked their final spot, saving two match points of their own.

The Indian pair drew first blood as they claimed break on Dodig’s serve with some sharp angled winners. But there were early jitters too for the Indian duo as Bopanna made two straight double faults while serving for the set. They eventually closed out the set in 30 minutes when a return went long. However, the problems with shaky first serves, especially by Sharan, persisted throughout the match.

A poor service game from Sharan gave the Italian-Croatian pair an early break in the second set. He started with a double fault, hit a return straight at Bopanna’s head (for the second time in as many days) and just couldn’t get a first serve in the match.

After the match, Divij admitted that he was erratic with his serve. “I am probably spinning the ball much. The conditions are also changing,” Divij said.

“Yesterday was different. Today is different and I am kind of trying to find my rhythm. I have a serve a to fall back on when it is getting close. I know if I want to win the point, I have spots that I can serve to. Once I am at the net, if I make the first volley, that gives us the chance to win the point. I have been working on it and I am sure I will be doing more and see what patterns work best.”

As for Divij inadvertently smashing the ball at his own teammate, the duo later joked about Bopanna height being a factor, but this one game highlighted a big room for improvement for the newly-formed pair.

Trying to break back, the Indians had a couple of opportunities though the next few games but their opponents managed to take it to the decider after squandering the first three set points.

In the Super Tiebreak, the Bopanna and Divij looked far more comfortable than in the quarter-final. As Bopanna reiterated, both teams are there in the game till the last point in this format.

The Indian duo pulled back from being 2-5 down to 5-5 and then took the lead with a plucky point at the net.

Dodig served up a double fault to give the Indians the match point, which was on Sharan’s serve. However, it was saved at 10-10 when Bopanna was unable to return at the net, only managing to block it in his court.

What looked like a passing winner was challenged by Sharan, successfully, to loud cheers from the crowd as a the match point was saved.

Another on-the-line winner was called out. A smart challenge handed the Indians another match point, this time on the reliable Bopanna serve, which was wasted. The tipping point finally came when Dodig hit it out and the Indians clinched it on Sharan’s serve as a return sailed long.

The crowd was ecstatic as were the Asian Games medallists, who had last been in the final here back when it was Chennai Open in 2017. Then, they were on the opposite sides of the net. Now they will look for their first trophy together.