Tennis

Bopanna looking to bounce back

Bonding time: Rohan Bopanna with wife Supriya and daughter Tridha.

Bonding time: Rohan Bopanna with wife Supriya and daughter Tridha.

The close bonding with his family, the camaraderie with players and a fine sense of humour keep Rohan Bopanna cheerful most of the time. It is no different in Adelaide where he is on a 72-hour quarantine before the first ATP event of the season.

“The good thing is, I have my family with me here. And we can train during quarantine,” said Bopanna, happy to have his two-year-old daughter around.

For three days it will only be the hotel and practice courts, walking distance from each other.

“Sania (Mirza) is also here with her son and dad. It is nice,” said Bopanna.

The Indian party does not end there, as Bopanna reveals that he would be playing the first tournament with the country’s best ranked singles player, Ramkumar Ramanathan.

“My partner for the season, Edouard Roger-Vasselin is busy with the ATP Cup in Sydney. I am lucky that Ramkumar was available to play doubles this week,” said Bopanna, the former world No.3 doubles star.

“It was the best thing to do for Ramkumar to be here in advance, to get used to the conditions and hoping to get into the singles qualifying event. He may now get to play both singles and doubles,” said Bopanna.

At 41, Bopanna has all the enthusiasm to excel and make fresh ground on the tour. “My target is to win a match in the first five months,” laughed Bopanna, as he hinted at the miserable first half he had in 2021, hardly winning two matches in the first five months in about 11 tournaments.

He did have a good season, winning a few rounds in Grand Slams, apart from reaching a semifinal and many quarterfinals on the ATP Tour.

“For three weeks I had good training at the academy in Bengaluru, doing yoga as well. The fitness helps me enjoy the Tour. I get along very well with Ramkumar. Win or lose, it does not matter, as long as I enjoy playing,” said Bopanna.

He is also happy about national champion Niki Poonacha getting sharp for the season at the academy.

“Niki definitely has the game. He needs to be consistent. He is shaping up well. There are a few Challengers after the ATP event in Pune. Good chance to do well,” said Bopanna.

The country’s No.1 doubles player signed off with a warning, saying that he had met Frederik Nielsen of Denmark earlier in the day, and the Belgian was happy about playing the Davis Cup tie on grass in Delhi.

“Nielsen is a Wimbledon champion,” said Bopanna about the Dane who won the Wimbledon doubles title in 2012.


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Printable version | May 23, 2022 7:45:26 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/bopanna-looking-to-bounce-back/article38082860.ece