It has been a memorable season for Rohan Bopanna, finishing in the top-20, and he looks forward to having a better season next with the reigning Wimbledon doubles champion Matthew Ebden of Australia.
In the Capital for the PSPB inter unit tournament, the 42-year-old Bopanna put things in perspective in a candid conversation with the media. “Ebden’s game will be helpful for me. He does everything and has got great results. He has had a wonderful year, in the Davis Cup final, made Australian Open final and won Wimbledon”, said Bopanna.
Winning three titles on the Tour this season, two of them with Ramkumar Ramanathan in Adelaide and Pune, Bopanna said that there was scope to partner an Indian player in doubles in Pune, as Ebden may play in Australia at that time. “I enjoy playing at home. Young players get to watch us. Other ATP tournaments are not shown here”, said Bopanna.
Apart from the title in Tel Aviv with Matwe Middelkoop, Bopanna also made the finals in Antwerp, Hamburg and Doha. He made the semifinals in French Open, Washington and Monte Carlo.
“At this stage of my career, I focus to doing well in the big events. I focus on myself, and do what needs to be done. Practising Iyengar yoga has helped my body and mind. I don’t feel rushed on court. It has helped my game in a big way”, he observed.
He has been travelling with coach Scott Davidoff for the past 10 years, and many physios have been part of his team. “When Scott could not travel, I had coach M Balachandran travel. Outside perspective makes a difference. You need to invest in your game, if you aspire to get better. I buy my racquets, strings and grips. I customise them. I use natural gut which is the costliest”, said Bopanna as gave an insight into what goes into his game.
None of this is cheap. Bopanna says he invests about 50 lakh rupees in a season. What adding to his expenses is the fact that his wife and daughter also travel with him for some tournaments. But Bopanna wouldn’t have it any other way. “I travel so many weeks. That gives the rhythm for me. This is the life (I have chosen) . I have so many friends around the world. I enjoy more off court, and spend minimum time on court”, he said.
In a big move to address the key aspect of better movement on court, Bopanna has brought a top trainer from Argentina Hernan Aboitiz to his academy in Sports School, Bengaluru, for a month.
He will also be doing a doubles camp Dubai from December 12 to 24 with many other Indian players, and hopes that it would help them fare better in the Challenger tournaments. “You have to do what is needed to sustain and go up”, he said.