At the age of 43, Rohan Bopanna is still going strong and will be backed by Indian tennis fans when he takes the Rod Laver Arena on Saturday to fight for his maiden Australian Open title.
The 43-year-old along with his Australian partner Matthew Ebden reached his first-ever Australian Open and will play the final as the new world number one in men's doubles.
The semi-final was a nervy match but Bopanna and his Australian men’s doubles partner Matthew Ebden capped their brilliant run in the tournament with a win on Thursday.
“Extremely happy to be playing tennis, especially playing it pain-free. Playing as the World No. 1 I was playing freely and completely enjoying myself out on the court. Overall, I am enjoying myself being where I am today and playing one of my best tennis in a couple of decades,” said Bopanna after the match.
The tournament so far has been extremely remarkable for Bopanna as earlier last week, he surpassed 500 wins in professional tennis. Further on Wednesday, he became the oldest World No. 1 in ATP men’s doubles history. This is the first time he reached the top of the rankings and has now also made it to his maiden Australian Open final.
“I’m just going to go out there and play the tennis I have been playing these two weeks and hopefully come out on top. It’ll be a dream come true if we win on Saturday,” said Rohan.
Despite a hectic schedule for the tournament and less time for recovery, Bopanna is enjoying his time.
"It was extremely difficult. It’s very rare that in between the tournaments, you get so many overwhelming messages and so much love that I have received, for which I am very thankful. You have less than 24 hours to prepare for a big Grand Slam match, but whatever little time I had, I took it to sit down with myself and enjoy the moment. But I made sure I got my eight hours of sleep for today and I’m extremely happy that we have a day off before we play the final on Saturday," said Rohan.
Lastly, while revealing the mantra for his success at the Australian Open 2024, Bopanna said, “I’m training less and making sure I recover a lot more.”
“The recovery is happening at least two hours a day. I am making sure I take the ice bath, and deep tissue massages which help me recover and come back again the next day,” he concluded.
Rohan, who was shortlisted for the Padma Shri award on Republic Day, will face Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori in the final.