Bopanna ‘up for any challenge’ after Monte Carlo triumph

Rohan Bopanna was understandably thrilled to win the first Masters title of the season, winning a clutch of tough matches and saving a matchpoint against the top seeds in the quarterfinals in Monte Carlo.

Rohan Bopanna of India and Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay in action, Bopanna said that the duo will compete in all the tournaments in the clay season.   -  Getty Images

Rohan Bopanna was understandably thrilled to win the first Masters title of the season, winning a clutch of tough matches and saving a matchpoint against the top seeds in the quarterfinals in Monte Carlo.

“It is definitely overwhelming. There was so much riding on it. I was defending big points from the clay season last year, the Madrid finals, French Open quarterfinals. This title takes away a lot of pressure”, said the 37-year-old Bopanna when contacted by Sportstar.

The partnership was actually struggling after Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay had lost some close matches in the tie-break against world class opponents, in the big events in Indian Wells and Miami.

“We were losing the match tie-breaks. It can go either way. We won four of them this week. You don’t want to jump the gun and break the partnership. We had actually given ourselves time till Barcelona next week. We took it as a two week challenge. Now, we have decided to play the whole clay season till the French Open”, revealed Bopanna.

Bopanna was all praise for his partner, for his work ethic and the manner in which he fights the doubles matches irrespective of his performance in the singles.

“Pablo is world class, and clay is his best surface. We started off great. He was doing well in singles and it definitely helps. He was a little down after losing the singles quarterfinals, as he was keen to make the semifinals, but he was fighting in the doubles matches. He takes things seriously and does not fool around in doubles. Training with him every day, and hitting with him on clay, makes a world of difference”, felt Bopanna.

After a tough first round against Marcin Matkowskki of Poland and Alexander Peya of Austria, the Bopanna and Cuevas pair was down a break in the second after losing the first set in the tie-break against fifth seeds Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Rajeev Ram of the US, before they turned it around.

In the quarterfinals against top seeds Henri Kontinen of Finland and John Peers of Australia, Bopanna and partner missed a match-point and then faced a match-point against them. Cuevas clinched that point after a long rally with a cross court drop.

“Today we were against a world class team which had won the French Open last year. We came out firing. I was really able to match up with them from the baseline with my forehand. It is a great start for the clay season”, said Bopanna, on the triumph over Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez of Spain.

In Barcelona, the ATP-500 event, the champions will be tested straight-away once again, by the top seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers in the first round. “At this level, there are no easy matches. We are playing good and ready for any challenge”, declared Bopanna.