Veteran Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna feels that his rise to the world number one in doubles rankings at the twilight of his career is a much-needed boost for the falling Indian tennis.
Bopanna is set to become the oldest tennis player to achieve the world No. 1 ranking in men's doubles after reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open along with his partner Matthew Ebden of Australia here on Wednesday.
“It feels incredible to be where I am today, especially after 20 years of being in the sport and constantly trying to achieve at the highest level. Indian tennis needed this. Watching sports, you always have idols while growing up and someone who inspires you. I hope my reaching the No. 1 position inspires someone back home. With all the support I have received in the last two decades, this is something I have to give back to the entire nation," Bopanna told Sony Sports Network after his win.
The 43-year-old, who had entered the tournament with a career-high ranking of world No. 3, and Ebden recorded a comfortable 6-4 7-6(5) win over sixth-seeded Argentinian duo of Máximo González and Andrés Molteni in the quarterfinals that lasted an hour and 46 minutes here.
Bopanna will be crowned the new numero uno spot on Monday after the end of the tournament. Ebden, on the other hand, is set to reach the world no 2 spot. Bopanna twice reached the US Open final but never won a men's doubles major.
"Experience is a great factor in getting those wins. Ever since I started focussing only on doubles in 2010, it has taken me 13-14 years to reach this. I have been a journeyman," said Bopanna, who will take over the top position from USA's Austin Krajicek, who and his Croatian partner Ivan Dodig lost in the second round.
Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden will take on Zhang Zhizhen and Tomas Machac in the Australian Open 2024 semi-final at the Rod Laver Arena.