28 Jan 2024

Historic Victory in Australian Open: 'There was a time when my career seemed to be ending', said Rohan Bopanna after scripting history with Matthew Ebden

In a monumental achievement at the Australian Open in Melbourne on Saturday, Indian tennis star Rohan Bopanna, alongside partner Matthew Ebden, secured the men's doubles title, marking a historic milestone in Bopanna's illustrious career.

Bopanna not only clinched his maiden Grand Slam men's doubles title after more than two decades in the sport but also etched his name as the oldest Grand Slam champion of the Open Era.

The formidable duo emerged victorious in the final by defeating the Italian pair of Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori in straight sets with a scoreline of 7-6 (7-0), 7-5.

Expressing gratitude, Bopanna took a moment to acknowledge his coach, Scott Davidoff, and his physio for their unwavering support that propelled him to this pinnacle of success.

'There was a time when I felt that my career was coming to an end'

Recalling a challenging phase in his career, Bopanna revealed, "There was a time when I could not win a single match for five months, and I started feeling that my career was coming to an end." 

However, he credited his coach for never abandoning him and pushing him to work tirelessly, resulting in his current position. Bopanna also highlighted the crucial role played by his physio in maintaining his fitness, especially as he continues to compete at the highest level.

Bopanna further expressed his appreciation for the organizers of the Australian Open, emphasizing the excellent care provided to players, which encourages him to return to the tournament repeatedly.

US Open mistake not repeated here

The pair of Bopanna and Ebden had also challenged till the finals in the US Open last year, but then they could not control their heartbeats in the title match and had to face defeat.

This time, both of them did not relent against the Italian pair in the Australian Open and always maintained the determination to win the title.

In this victory, Bopanna never let his service come under pressure and the sharpness of his volleys at the net was clearly visible.

He was seen using his brain well while making his shots. Many times the players in front expected a down the line shot, but Bopanna surprised them by hitting a cross court shot.

Past Phases and Challenges

In 2010 Bopanna formed a partnership with Pakistan's Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi .

This pair was moving towards its peak, but due to tension in the relations between India and Pakistan, Bopanna broke the partnership with mutual consent.

Bopanna once again formed a partnership with Qureshi in 2021 but it could not last as they did not click like before.

In reality, Bopanna's phase around 2021 was bad and due to continuous decline in performance, at one point he had even decided to retire.

In fact, knee pain was playing a major role in his poor performance.

During this period, he was playing using painkillers three times a day. Then he somehow emerged from the despair and succeeded in getting his career back on track with steely determination.

PM congratulates Rohan Bopanna 

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, congratulated tennis player Rohan Bopanna for winning the Australian Open. 

The Prime Minister posted on X: 

"Time and again, the phenomenally talented Rohan Bopanna shows age is no bar! 

Congratulations to him on his historic Australian Open win.

His remarkable journey is a beautiful reminder that it is aways our spirit, hard work and perseverance that define our capabilities.

Best wishes for his future endeavours."

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