London: Indian duo Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna crashed to a 7-5, 3-6, 10-3 defeat against Spain’s Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in the doubles final at the ATP Tour Finals on Monday.
Bhupathi and Bopanna were bidding to the win the season-ending event for the first time, but Granollers and Lopez held their nerve in a super tie-break to become the first Spaniards to take the doubles crown at Tour Finals since Juan Gisbert and Manuel Orantes in 1975.
The Indian fifth seeds, who won their first Masters 1000 doubles title in Paris earlier this month, had already enjoyed a significant success at the Tour Finals after beating compatriot and old rival Leander Paes, and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek, in a semi-final grudge match.
But they were unable to maintain their momentum against the Spanish sixth seeds, who had the better of a hard-fought encounter.
It was an especially painful defeat for Bhupathi, who has now lost in the final of the Tour Finals on five occasions, with his previous defeats coming with Paes, in 1997, 1999 and 2000 and in 2010 with Max Mirnyi. (Agencies)