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Bopanna wins Satellite crown

Source: PTI
June 04, 2005 16:27 IST
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Rohan Bopanna stamped his authority on the $25,000 ITF Satellite men's tennis circuit by winning the first leg easily, at the National Tennis Academy courts in Gurgaon on Saturday.

The Indian top seed needed an hour and 12 minutes to tame Prima Simpatiaji of Indonesia 6-3, 6-2 in the final, which turned out to be a one-sided affair.

Simpatiaji, a Davis Cup player for the South-East Asian nation, put up a strong challenge in the first set but then suffered a back strain that seemed to hamper his momentum in the second.

Bopanna, who had not dropped a set till the quarterfinals, did not waste time in closing out the issue with a double break. The 25-year old collected 21 circuit points and 812 US dollars, and also a well-deserved day's break before returning for the second leg next week.

The third leg will also be held at the NTA followed by the Masters in Dehra Dun.

Prakash Amritraj had dominated the circuit two years ago, winning the second and third legs and also the Masters, to push his ranking from the 600s to into the top-400s that year.

Bopanna, on the comeback trail after a shoulder surgery, will be hoping for a similar run. He had already seen his ranking go up from outside 600 to 460 on the ATP Tour, and would like to see that shoot up further in the coming weeks.

"The first game was a bit loose. I felt that I should change my grip, and did that immediately instead of waiting for the game to end, who knows I might have dropped the serve," said Bopanna on his rusty start.

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