Rohan Bopanna is happy with the fine run in recent weeks, winning a title from two finals with Matthew Ebden of Australia. It was a reassurance for the former World No. 3 that he was doing things right, especially so, as he gets ready to celebrate his 43rd birthday on Saturday.
“The last couple of weeks have been great with Ebden. We didn’t have a great start in Australia.
The pressure was on him as he had made the final of the Australian Open last year. We were getting to know the partnership”, reasoned Bopanna, who had won the title in Doha after losing the final in Rotterdam.
“We won some close matches against good teams”, he said.
As luck would have it, Bopanna and Ebden ran into the top seeds in the first round of Dubai and lost 9-11 in the super tie-break, this week.
“It is a blessing in disguise that we lost early in Dubai. We didn’t do what we could have on a couple of points. It could have gone our way. But, we have time to rest and get ready for Indian Wells and Miami”, said Bopanna.
Apart from celebrating his birthday with daughter Tridha at home, Bopanna is also looking up to the farewell game of Sania Mirza in Hyderabad on Sunday.
“Sania is such a close friend, for so long. The first time we played together, she was 14, and we won the mixed doubles title in the DCM Shriram Open. Since then to have played in the Asian Games, Olympics, and the Grand Slams has been great.
She has inspired me. Not only me but people around the globe. She faced so many challenges all along. She had the mental strength to continue playing this long”, said Bopanna.
He is confident that Sania would continue to contribute to the growth of Indian sport.
“Am sure she will be involved in sports. She has tremendous experience to give back to the sport. Considering from where she had started, and fought her way through, great credit to her and the family”, he said.
Bopanna was disappointed at not being able to pull his weight in the last Davis Cup tie against Denmark, when India was in a rare situation of 1-1 on the opening day of the tie, on foreign soil.
“We had our chances. Sumit Nagal was 5-3, 40-15. We have to take those chances. Doubles, we didn’t play a great match. Holger Rune is a fantastic player. He was serving big and hitting big. We could not put pressure on the second player”, Bopanna conceded.
On the personal front, Bopanna is happy to invest in a coach and physio, to sustain a high-quality game.
“It is great to be pain-free and play your best. I have been serving good and that has helped in other parts of the game. I have tied up with a physio from Belgium, and hope to get the support from TOPS”, he said.
“In 12 days, I played nine matches. It is all about recovery. The presence of the physio makes a huge difference”, he observed.
The partnership with Ebden is a work in progress and the goal is to finish in the top-8 at the end of the season.“If we do well in the Grand Slams, it will become easier as there will be a lot of points”, said Bopanna.
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