Rohan Bopanna gets ready for last Davis Cup hurrah | Tennis News - Hindustan Times
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Rohan Bopanna gets ready for last Davis Cup hurrah

By, Lucknow
Sep 13, 2023 09:08 PM IST

After a brilliant run at the US Open, the doubles specialist is all set to play his 50th and final Davis Cup tie later this week

Ace Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna’s greatest aspiration in life is to represent and win for India. Just last week, the 43-year-old etched his name in history as the oldest finalist in the US Open and for now, he isn't done.

Rohan Bopanna in action during a training session in Lucknow on Wednesday. (Deepak Gupta/HT photo)
Rohan Bopanna in action during a training session in Lucknow on Wednesday. (Deepak Gupta/HT photo)

Bopanna's skills and remarkable fitness continue to inspire individuals to embrace life's challenges. Although the loss in the final was disappointing, he remains committed to making every moment count.

In the doubles final at the US Open, Bopanna and his Australian partner, Matthew Ebden, lost to the third-seeded pair of Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, with a score of 6-2, 3-6, 4-6. This was also Bopanna’s second appearance in a Grand Slam men’s doubles final -- the first coming thirteen years ago, when he was partnering Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi -- but the men's doubles trophy continues to elude him.

Now back in India, Bopanna will be looking to get his mind back on track ahead of his 50th and final Davis Cup tie later this week. Team India is set to face Morocco in the World Group-II encounter on the hard courts of the Vijayant Khand Stadium here on Saturday and Sunday.

“I always cherish and take immense pride in representing India, as it has always held a special place in my heart. I would love to conclude my Davis Cup career on a high note and am fully prepared for the challenge. I look forward to a positive outcome in the encounter,” said Bopanna on Wednesday.

“I haven't had the opportunity to witness Moroccan players in action, but I am confident that we will have a great showdown against our visitors in a new city and new location," added Bopanna."We have a talented group of players in the Indian team, and they have the potential to elevate the sport, making it a momentous occasion for them as well."

However, Bopanna admitted that it's an emotional moment for him

"It's a mixed feeling, tinged with emotion. I've devoted a couple of decades to representing India in the Davis Cup, and now I'm gearing up for my last tie in Indian colours."

“I am delighted that this moment is occurring in India. In fact, I had hoped to host this encounter in front of my home crowd in Bangalore, but unfortunately, that couldn't be arranged. If the tie were in Bangalore, around 500-600 people would have come to watch me play. Since we no longer have an ATP tournament in India, I'll be concluding my career outside India when that day comes. Nevertheless, for now, around 80 fans, family members, friends, and more are traveling to Lucknow to witness my final appearance for India in the Davis Cup.”

Reflecting on his extensive journey in sports thus far, Bopanna shared that it was an incredible two weeks in New York. "Saving seven match points in the quarterfinal was quite captivating. We played outstanding tennis, and it was a closely contested finish. Losing in the final was a tad disappointing," he acknowledged.

Bopanna, who holds a 22-27 win-loss record in Davis Cup matches, anticipates that the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China will provide another significant opportunity to earn honours for India. "It's taking place after five years, and the Davis Cup will be an excellent platform for everyone to prepare adequately. I am genuinely thrilled to represent India and am hopeful for a successful performance," he stated.

KNOW BOPANNA

Residence: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Born: March 4, 1980

Height:1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)

Turned pro: 2003

Plays: Right-handed (one-handed backhand)

Highest ranking singles: No. 213 (23 July 2007)

Career titles: 24

Highest ranking doubles: No. 3 (22 July 2013)

Current ranking: No. 7 (11 September 2023)

Grand Slam doubles results

Australian Open: Third round (2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018)

French Open: SF (2022)

Wimbledon: SF (2013, 2015, 2023)

US Open: F (2010, 2023)

Davis Cup: 22–27 (singles 10–17, doubles 12–10)

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