Rohan Bopanna became the oldest tennis player ever to win the Masters 1000 title, as he and Matthew Ebden of Australia beat the top seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski 6-3, 2-6, [10-8] in the doubles final of the $10,143,750 ATP tournament in Indian Wells, USA.
The 43-year-old Bopanna broke the record of Daniel Nestor of Canada who had won the Cincinnati Masters title when he was 42 in 2015.
“Dan is a close friend. I texted that I had broken his record”, said Bopanna, who had won two of his 24 doubles titles on the Tour with Nestor, incidentally in 2015 itself.
“I was able to keep my tennis going, and still believe that I could win the big tournaments. Constantly finding ways to improve. The last four weeks have been fantastic”, said Bopanna.
Bopanna and Ebden have won two titles from three finals this season, and had match point in the final of Rotterdam.
“Nice to see the Indian flag here”, said Bopanna, who was winning his fifth Masters title, from ten finals. The last one was in Monte Carlo in 2017 with Pablo Cuevas.
The former world No.3, Bopanna will get closer to the top-10, as he attempts to build on the momentum, in the next Masters event in Miami.
“When we chose to partner, me and Matt wanted to win the ATP 500, 1000 titles”, said Bopanna, who is quite capable of having a good run in the Grand Slams as well.
Bopanna had played his part superbly in helping Sania Mirza sign off with a final appearance in the mixed doubles of the Australian Open this season.
The title was worth 1000 ATP points and $436,730. The runners-up collected 600 points and $231,660.
$10,143,750 ATP, Indian Wells, USA
Doubles (final): Rohan Bopanna & Matthew Ebden (Aus) bt Wesley Koolhof (Ned) & Neal Skupski (GBR) 6-3, 2-6, [10-8].