Mahesh Bhupathi entered his first final of this season. He and French partner Michael Llodra overcame a strong challenge from India’s Rohan Bopanna and Rajeev Ram of the United States in the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Friday.
Unseeded, Bhupathi-Llodra needed 88 minutes for a 6-4, 6-7(2), 10-5 victory.
At one stage Bhupathi-Llodra were cruising and serving for the match in the 10th game of the second set, but Bopanna-Ram fought back and took the match to the super tie-breaker.
This is Bhupathi’s best performance of the season. He lost in the quarter-finals of the Chennai and Sydney events while could not go beyond the pre-quarter-finals of the Australian Open with full time partner Daniel Nestor.
Bhupathi-Llodra now face third seeds Robert Lindstedt and Nenand Zimonjic, who beat Mikhail Youzhny and Jonathan Erlich 7-6(2), 7-6(2) in the other semi-final, which lasted an hour and 47 minutes.