Winning Australian Open 2024 will be a dream come true, says Rohan Bopanna

January 25, 2024
A day after assuring the world no.1 rankings, Indian veteran tennis player Rohan Bopanna, partnering Australian Matthew Ebden

Mumbai, Jan 25 (IANS) A day after assuring the world no.1 rankings, Indian veteran tennis player Rohan Bopanna, partnering Australian Matthew Ebden, sailed into the Australian Open men’s doubles final after a win over Czech-Chinese pair of Tomas Machac and Zhizhen Zhang.

The second-seed Indo-Aussie pair defeated Zhizhen and Machac 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (10-7) at the Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.

The hearts of millions of Indian tennis fans filled with emotions and pride when Rohan Bopanna aced a serve to clinch the third set and book a place in the Australian Open 2024 final. The semi-final itself was a nervy match but Bopanna and his Australian men’s doubles partner Matthew Ebden capped their brilliant run in the tournament with a win on Thursday.

Speaking on Sony Sports Network’s studio show Extraaa Serve following the triumph, Bopanna was on cloud nine as he expressed his true emotions. “Extremely happy to be playing tennis, especially playing it pain-free. Playing as the World No. 1 I was playing freely and completely enjoying myself out on the court. Overall, I am enjoying myself being where I am today and playing one of my best tennis in couple of decades,”

When probed by Sania Mirza on his mindset during the topsy-turvy semi-final match, the 43-year-old said, “It was a match which we thought we had in control. Scott (Davidoff) has always told me, especially this week, to be confident no matter what the situation. It was just one of the small advises that he gives and this one stayed with me. I wanted to be positive and play tennis in my usual aggressive style and I think that made the difference today.”

The tournament so far has been extremely remarkable for Bopanna as earlier last week, he surpassed 500 wins in professional tennis. Further on Wednesday, he became the oldest World No. 1 in ATP men’s doubles history. This is the first time he reached the top of the rankings and has now also made it to his maiden Australian Open final.

Bopanna, however, has had little time to recover between matches as he went on to speak about how he is managing to come through despite the tight schedule. “It was extremely difficult. It’s very rare that in between the tournament you get so many overwhelming messages and so much love that I have received, for which I am very thankful. You have less than 24 hours to prepare for a big Grand Slam match, but whatever little time I had, I took it to sit down with myself and enjoy the moment. But I made sure I got my eight hours of sleep for today and I’m extremely happy that we have a day off before we play the final on Saturday,” he quoted while addressing Somdev Devvarman’s question.

Furthermore, looking forward to the much-anticipated final clash against Italian pair Simone Bolelli & Andrea Vavassori, Rohan Bopanna elucidated on his preparations and the mindset for the big match. “I’m just going to go out there and play the tennis I have been playing these two weeks and hopefully come out on top. It’ll be a dream come true if we win on Saturday,” he quoted. Then pointing towards six-time Grand Slam winner Sania Mirza, he humorously asked for some expert tips, drawing smiles across the studio floor.

Lastly, while revealing the mantra for his success at Australian Open 2024, Bopanna said, “I’m actually training less and making sure I recover a lot more.”

“The recovery is happening at least two hours a day. I am making sure I take the ice bath, deep tissue massages which help me recover and come back again next day,” he concluded.



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