Even though their unique pairing captured most of the headlines during the US Open, Rohan Bopanna and Aisam Qureshi are more than a novelty act on the tennis court. The efforts they put in this summer reflected in the ATP doubles rankings released on Monday, which have them listed as the No.6 team in the world.
Bopanna, thus, has overtaken Mahesh Bhupathi on the leaderboard. Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi are ranked eighth in the team rankings. During a promotional event in Mumbai on Monday, Bhupathi hailed the performance by the 'Indo-Pak Express' at the Grand Slam.
"He has been having an amazing year and they put up an amazing show at the US Open," he said in Mumbai. " The most important thing is that Rohan and Aisam reached the final of the US Open. They have made the transition and now it is a question of keeping fit and doing it again and again."
In the individual rankings, Bopanna is placed 19th while his Pakistani partner is a few rungs below at 23. Qureshi was also in contention for the mixed doubles title, but he and partner Kveta Peschke lost to American top seeds Bob Bryan and Liezel Huber in the final.
The new high in rankings capped a perfect summer for the duo, who beat top teams like Mike and Bob Bryan (at the Washington ATP), Bhupathi- Mirnyi (in New Haven) and second seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic (US Open) during the US hard-court season. They also won their first tour title-- the SA Open in Johannesburg in February-this year.
High on confidence
PTI adds: Bopanna though will have little time to celebrate. He will be thrust into national duty as India face Brazil in the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie, which will be held from September 17-19.
"My confidence is high. I got on to the court today itself after a long travel from New York and I was able to hit the ball really good. I have to believe in my game and try and win the first match on Friday," he said. "This four days of training before the important Davis Cup tie is important and crucial. I will be working on my movements."