ATP Monte Carlo: Bopanna/Cuevas win the first Masters of the clay season on match tiebreaker

The final of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters saw the unseeded pair of Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas defeat the seventh-seeded Spanish pairing of Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez 6-3, 3-6, 10-4 win the title. 

Bopanna/Cuevas take lone break, go up a set on Spaniards

Both teams started the final quite confidently, holding their opening service games with ease for 1-1. The unseeded pair of Bopanna/Cuevas then held their next service game and with Marc Lipez the only player of the four yet to hold serve, he was put under a bit of pressure.

With the score at 30-30 in the fourth game, Feliciano Lopez hit the net with a volley as two break points went the way of the unseeded pair. At the first time of asking, Bopanna/Cuevas broke the Spanish pair before then impressively holding serve to love as they went 4-1 up in the set.

Pablo Cuevas gearing up to hit a volley with partner Rohan Bopanna looking on (Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Pablo Cuevas gearing up to hit a volley with partner Rohan Bopanna looking on (Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

For most of the remainder of the set, the seventh-seeded pair were struggling to deal with the aggression shown by their opponents, who have gone the distance in three of their four matches this week. In the eighth game, Marc Lopez for the first time in the match held serve for 5-3 as he and his namesake Feliciano Lopez served to stay in the set.

Now serving for the first time to win the set, Bopanna/Cuevas made no mistakes and ran away to a 40-15 lead with Bopanna bombing an unreturnable first serve out wide. Following a mini rally with Feliciano Lopez, Bopanna played a topspin forehand with the Spaniard failing to deal with it and striking the return wide as the first set was won by the unseeded duo 6-3. 

Lopez/Lopez draw level sends match the distance

Having lost the first set, the Spaniards almost went even further, needing to save two break points with the Urugyian smashing a forehand to Feliciano Lopez who skied the return. The seventh seeds won the next point and took the game to a deciding point before going on to save the second breakpoint with a thumping ace out wide.

Rohan Bopanna also held serve much more comfortable, losing only the one point as they got on the scoreboard in the second set. Just like the first set, three of the four players had held serve with the fourth man being put under pressure. This time, was Pablo Cuevas who felt the heat.

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Feliciano Lopez strikes a backhand shot with Marc Lopez heading towards the net (Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Feliciano Lopez strikes a backhand shot with Marc Lopez heading towards the net (Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Level at 30-all in the fourth game, Feliciano Lopez saw an opening and put a forehand shot past Bopanna which landed in as double break points went the Spaniard's way, 30-40. They only needed the one chance with the 31-year-old Urugyian opting for the lob which went long of the baseline.

The seventh seeds then were put under pressure on serve but consolidated to reverse the score and lead themselves 1-4 in the second. From then on in both teams held serve for the next four games with the seventh seeds now looking to take the match to a decider at 3-5. With the score at 30-all, Lopez/Lopez grabbed a double set point with an ace out wide before securing the set the very next point with a second successive ace, this time down the t, 3-6. 

Bopanna/Cuevas dominate tiebreaker to win title

The unseeded pair of Bopanna/Cuevas began the match tiebreaker in tremendous fashion. They went up 6-0 in quick time as the Spanish pair won their first point of the tiebreaker on the seventh point. The unseeded pair dropped serve in the next point but quickly reclaimed that point and got the tiebreaker back on serve, 8-2.

Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas celebrate winning Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas celebrate winning Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The seventh seeds then won the next two points in a row before the unseeded pair went up a championship point 9-4 with a Feliciano Lopez return going wide. The pair then clinched the title on the next point on the Marc Lopez serve thanks to an unforced error at the net from Feliciano Lopez, 10-8. 

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