Indian couple in shape N Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan extended their winning streak to Maharashtra Open 2023 on Friday to enter the men’s doubles final.
N Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan defeated Brits Julian Cash and Henry Patten 6-4, 7-5 in the semi-final at Balewadi Stadium in Pune.
With the win, the Tamil Nadu-born duo kept the Indian challenge alive at the Maharashtra Open, South Asia’s only ATP 250 event. Balaji and Jeevan upset second seeds Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow in the quarterfinals.
After an initially difficult challenge from the British couple, The Indian tennis players found their rhythm and comfortably knocked the first set 6:4.
In the second set, the head-to-head battle ended 5-5. However, N Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, who had performed exceptionally so far after entering the tournament as an alternate pair, took the lead in winning the next two games at the trot.
Saturday’s final will be Jeevan’s second final and Balaji’s first ATP Tour final. Jeevan won the Chennai Open 2017 title teaming with Rohan Bopanna.
The Indian tennis duo will face the Belgian pair of Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen on Saturday. Gille-Vliegen defeated Rajeev Ram of the USA and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain, three-time Grand Slam champion and top seed, 6-2, 6-1 in the second doubles semi-final.
Earlier, French tennis star Benjamin Bonzi recorded a sensational 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 6-1 win over world No. 35 Botic van de Zandschulp and advanced to the singles final.
World number 60 Bonzi will face Tallon Griekspoor in Saturday’s final. Griekspoor, ranked 95th in the world, defeated eighth seed Aslan Karatsev 7-6 (4), 6-1 in the second semi-final.