Pune: Top seeds Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan stormed to a win in their first ATP tournament together lifting the Tata Open Maharashtra doubles trophy in front of a cheering home crowd on Saturday. The Indians beat the British pairing of Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara 6-4, 6-3 in little over 63 minutes to start their new partnership on a promising note.

It is a crucial title for both, after having gone trophy-less in 2018, and it augurs well for the all-Indian pair ahead of their first Grand Slam together in 10 days’ time in Australia.

The pair are enjoying an unbeaten run as a team, having won the gold medal at the Asian Games in 2018 and it showed as they made quick work of their unseeded opponents on a hot afternoon in Pune. After coming through in nail-biting Super Tiebreaks in their quarter and semi-final, the title clash seemed to be a stroll for the home favourites.

Although unseeded and ranked lower than the Indians, the Brits were a dangerous combination having dropped just one set en route the final, the third for the pair. They were champions in both previous finals. They teamed up for the first time last year and won the Eastbourne title on debut as a team and then won in Stockholm as well.

But it was the Indians who started strong, getting their first break point in the eighth game on O’Mara’s serve. They clinched it with a solid backhand winner from Bopanna and serving for the set, the Bengaluru player closed it out the with a sharp serve that was returned long.

They didn’t face a single break point and won double the numbers of points at the net to take the lead in under half an hour.

The Indians, who have been pushed to the brink in the last two matches, didn’t take their feet off the pedal in the second set.

In the fifth game, Bambridge’s service game went to deuce and the Indians pounced on the deciding point, an error at the net, to get the decisive break in the second set. It was a big moment in context of the match, evident by Bopanna’s roaring celebration.

He then consolidated the break and the vociferous crowd seemed to motivate them further as O’Mara was broken in the very next game, courtesy a stinging forehand winner from Sharan.

However, serving for the match, Sharan’s serve, which has been a glaring chink in their armour this week, was broken after a couple of errors from the Indians.

Serving to stay in the match, the British pair kept their chances alive for another game. But when Bopanna, whose serve has been a lot more bankable, served for the match, it was all over. A volley, a service winner and a shank gave the Indians the title in their first ATP tournament together.

Bopanna and Sharan were on the opposite sides of the net when they last played the doubles final at home, back when it was the Chennai Open in 2017. The senior Indian, partnering Jeevan N, had then beaten Sharan and his then long-term partner Purav Raja for the title. Now playing together, the duo look set to make it count.