Reigning Australian Open men's doubles champion Rohan Bopanna has set his sights on the Paris Olympics 2024, starting on July 26, after winning his first men's doubles Grand Slam. “I think the Olympics are very close. It would be amazing to have one of our tennis teams participate in the Olympics, but before that I have a lot of Masters Series like Indian Wells, Miami, then the clay court season will start. We have the French Open and There's Wimbledon. So, we have a lot of events leading up to the Olympics. You know it's quite busy for the tennis calendar. There's a tournament every week. So, there are a lot of amazing things to look forward to and get excited about during the season. Coming,” Rohan Bopanna said while speaking to ANI.
It's been more than two weeks, but the world No. 1 doubles player is yet to win his maiden Australian Open title, reaching number one immediately after winning the quarterfinals of the Australian Open 2024.
“It's been incredible. It may have been a few weeks but it feels like it was yesterday. It's had a tremendous response. It's still sinking in, to be honest. But it's been amazing with so many messages There is a lot of love towards this achievement of mine. I am really proud of not only my family but well-wishers and many people I have met who have been inspired in some way or the other. It feels really special. I am number Very happy to achieve a ranking and a Grand Slam,” Bopanna said.
Bopanna became world No. 1 in men's doubles soon after reaching the men's doubles semi-finals of the Australian Open 2024 and made it even more special by winning the crown.
“It's really not easy, really in the middle of a tournament you don't get that kind of reaction. I won that quarterfinal match, I knew I was going to be world No. 1. So, a lot of players felt like that. Did. There were a lot of messages for him. I knew the task at hand. I don't think it would have been accomplished then. If I had been World No. 1 it would have been lacking but if I had not won the title then ideally it would have been That would have happened. Mixed emotions. So, it would have been a perfect Grand Slam finale to win a Grand Slam title and become world No. 1 and especially if you look at my record with Ebden last year, especially what we did at Wimbledon. Making the semi-finals and the final at the US Open, then winning the Australian Open, I think we deserve to be where we are today,” Rohan Bopanna explained.
The 43-year-old also credited his partner Matthew Ebden for his success as they have great chemistry on the court and have consistently performed well at Grand Slams.
“It's totally 50-50 per cent sharing of success. I don't think any of us could have achieved where we are today without the other player. Equal credit for becoming men's doubles champion or becoming world number one I also have a .1. Credit also goes to Matthew Ebden, because had he been with me, I didn't think I could have achieved it, so you know I'm really grateful that I had a guy like Matthew Ebden. Amazing partner that we've been able to build on and grow successfully. As a partnership. I mean you also know that my coaches and physios Scott and Rebecca have been extremely important playing a major role in the development of my journey. There are people and these are three people on the tennis front who definitely deserve all the success that I have received today. You know it's equal praise for all of them,” Bopanna explained.
When Bopanna won his second Grand Slam title after a long wait of almost seven years, he was overjoyed and fell on the court in celebration. His wife Supriya and daughter along with his in-laws are also in Melbourne to witness this memorable moment.
“This is a very special moment, especially for Supriya, who has been with me for so long, traveling week-to-week, has seen the disappointments and difficult losses that I have gone through. Sacrifices have been made and emotionally it's tough, I mean we go through so many ups and downs, you know as a player and you know I think the people closest to you can see that. It was always incredible and I'm grateful that she was there to see that win of mine. Most importantly, I was really happy that my daughter was also there to see that Grand Slam title and she Understands very well what was the importance of everything. You know she asked me after the match why I had fallen on the field and after winning the match it was a great way to see things from a different angle, a different perspective. There was a different side. Hopefully one day she'll have it and understand what it all meant to me and why there was that emotional side too but I am. I'm really grateful that my wife and daughter were there. “My in-laws were also there so it was great to be with family because it can be really lonely when you travel so having some family at this tournament makes a big difference,” Bopanna said.
The two-time Olympian came to India and also went to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and felt encouraged after meeting him.
“It's always exciting for an athlete when the Prime Minister himself is meeting all the athletes in the country and supporting them. I think it's a beautiful thing. You know when you understand that That's how much Spart can really bring about a change in the ecosystem. He is someone who leads from the front and he is constantly there to support all the athletes, meets the athletes whenever he gets time. So, I am grateful that he got such a short time to meet me. He was very encouraging and I mean I have heard a lot of amazing things about him from other athletes. This is the first time that I got a chance to meet the Honorable Prime Minister So, I was really excited and it's even more so when you know how much he encourages the players and I got to meet the sports minister as well. So, that's been amazing too. Whenever sports gets a boost So, it is encouraging for all the players. So, I am really grateful that this wonderful initiative has been taken,” Bopanna said.
“It makes a lot of difference, I mean sometimes you need motivation before going to a big event. You are ready, but we suddenly know that from the Honorable Prime Minister to the whole country is there to support you. You know tennis can get a little bit lonely out there sometimes, then suddenly when you look back and think you're not just playing for yourself, you're playing for the whole country. Curtains There are a lot of people behind you who are waiting for you and supporting you. It's very encouraging and I think it's amazing that we get to see that and I think whenever we “All the players really appreciate it when they meet him and give him encouraging words.”
Rohan Bopanna recently met rising Indian cricketer Shubman Gill, who later posted on his official Instagram handle on Saturday, calling him an 'absolute legend'.
“I think we all grow up inspired by someone or the other. It doesn't matter what sport we are playing, at the end of the day it has our name written on it and India has it written on it. I think that's where the motivation comes from. I think I'm really grateful for that. I got the chance to meet Shubman and I got such encouraging words, I think at the end of the day watching him play other games and watching other players love to watch. So, it's really amazing. I think we should all learn from each other and I think we should all encourage each other. That's where the game wins and I Looks like the game is winning here and that's what India needs,” Bopanna said.
India has unfortunately produced mediocre Grand Slam champions like Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna. Bopanna believes that India needs more Grand Slam champions as a country needs to host more Future and Challenger type tournaments to give the youngsters the necessary experience.
“The biggest thing we need is to organize tournaments in India to encourage all the athletes who are already playing here. We have no means to reach the highest level. So, as soon as we The future levels will start bringing tournaments at the Challenger level and I am not just talking about three-four tournaments. More than 25-30 tournaments a year. So, tournaments in Europe or America have got this consistently and players They don't have to travel outside their country. So, what it is is they actually need to have tournaments in India. This will give the structure to the game in the country that the country needs,” Bopanna explained.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Topics mentioned in this article