Dubai: Mahesh Bhupathi reached the first final of the season with French partner Michael Llodra after overcoming a fighting pair of Rohan Bopanna and Rajeev Ram in the Dubai Tennis Championships, here on Friday. Unseeded Bhupathi and Llodra got past India's Bopanna and Americam Ram 6-4, 6-7(2), 10-5 in the first semi-final, lasting one hour and 28 minutes.
At one stage Bhupathi and Llodra were cruising and were serving for the match in the 10th game of the second set but Bopanna and Ram continued to fight hard, stretching the match to a Super tie-breaker. This is best performance of the season for Bhupathi so far. He had fell in the quarter-finals of Chennai Open and Sydney events while could not go beyond the pre-quarter-finals of the Australian Open with full time partner Daniel Nestor.
Bhupathi and Llodra now face third seeds Robert Lindstedt and Nenand Zimonjic, who pipped Mikhail Youzhny and Jonathan Erlich 7-6 (2) 7-6 (2) in the other semi-final, which lasted one hour and 47 minutes.