News - Match - Player
Bangalore, 24 November, 2017
To partner Vasselin in doubles next year
Bengaluru, Nov 24: Rohan Bopanna who virtually grew up playing tennis at the KSLTA courts and went
on to achieve phenomenal success at the National and the International level, was given the pride of
place amongst the many legends who adorn the walls of KSLTA by unveiling a portrait of Bopanna’s
biggest success – the Mixed Doubles title at the French Open, earlier this year.
“I am touched by KSLTA’s gesture. I am truly honoured to have received this appreciation. I will be ever
grateful to KSLTA for having nurtured me and supported me in my growing years,” said the 37-year- old
who was hailed as the only true son of the soil who has brought the highest honours in tennis.
Meanwhile, Bopanna and KSLTA have tied up to set up the Rohan Bopanna Tennis Academy at the
KSLTA and will be operational from Dec 1.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Bengaluru Open 2017 ATP Challenger, Bopanna felt that the Challengers
are the way to go. “When I was growing up, we did not have a lot of Challengers in India. There is
nothing like playing at home, having your home support. Last week in Pune, we had two Indians in a
Challenger final. And again today to see Sumit and Yuki competing against each other. I think this
Challenger plays a huge role in grooming a player and getting exposure to world class and international
level of tennis, and players coming in to your home country,” said the Kodava while expressing his
happiness over the growing standards of Indian tennis.
A combination of Futures and Challengers was a heady mix for the success of the sport in India. “I feel
that the more competitions we have in India the better the players get. If each state has one Challenger
and one Future, we will definitely produce a lot more players, not only trying to get into the top 100 but
all the way up to 1000,” said the champ.
Talking about his future plans, Bopanna said that we would be partnering World No.26 Edouard Roger-
Vasselin in the doubles for the next season. “One of the key things I learnt with the numerous partner
changes is that I had to completely focus on my game irrespective of who my partner is. I chose Edouard
because he is now purely going to be doubles player and we can practice more with each other. I
decided to find someone just to play doubles. It always helps playing with someone you have played
before and we did well in that short period of time, and, of course, once again the focus is on Grand
Slams and qualify for the London Masters,” said the seasoned pro who admitted that it has been about
10-12 years since he has taken a break for himself.
Speaking about the Davis Cup squad where he has been shouldering the responsibility as a doubles
player, Bopanna said that there is a need to balance the team. “I think one of the major factors next
year is that it is going to be a two day event and singles is going to be of 3 sets. Although I’m the
only one playing doubles at the moment, there is no pressure at all. Being with the young guys,
motivating them and also being the senior member of the team motivates me and I’ve done this for
some time now and I thrive at such situations,” said the lanky pro.
Bopanna who is ranked 18 th in the World doubles ranking is inspired by Roger Federer. “Well, if you look
at Roger Federer playing singles at 36 then playing doubles at 37 is not a big challenge. The fact that
making sure that you are cooling down well, focusing on yourself. If I am fit, then Tokyo is definitely my
target. But tennis is a sport, which you cannot think of that far ahead and you have to take it in steps, as
there’s still a long way to go for Tokyo,” said the Kannidiga who has won three titles in 2017 including
the French Open.
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