Bopanna keen to improve

Tennis player Rohan Bopanna, who teamed up with Mahesh Bhupathi to lift the Dubai Open men’s doubles title, on Tuesday, said victory at the ATP tournament was a reflection that the pair was slowly getting into its groove before the London Olympics.

With the intention of competing in London, Bopanna chose to break his long-term association with Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi at the start of the year to join hands with Bhupathi. After a stuttering start, the duo pocketed its maiden crown as a team last week in Dubai. “Victory in Dubai was a great moment. We got a lot of support from the crowd,” said the 32-year-old Bopanna at a press meet at the KSLTA.

The victory helped the pair  climb to eight in the world rankings. “There is no talk of silencing the critics. We want to work hard and improve our game,” Bopanna said about the win.
Attributing most of the success to Bhupathi, Bopanna said the experience of his Grand Slam-winning partner played a big role in their triumph. “Bhupathi has such a vast experience of 17 years and many Grand Slam titles under his belt. It was easy for me. It was easy to get along with him,” said the Bangalorean, who is fifth in the individual doubles rankings.

“We had a rough start but we worked on our weaknesses and strengths. First I was playing in the advantage court and Bhupathi in the deuce court. But later, we shifted with Bhupathi playing in his favoured advantage court and the strategy worked for us. Whoever is playing better on that day will take charge and that is how we get along,” said Bopanna.
Bopanna, who termed his Paris Masters win with Qureshi last November as the biggest of his career so far, however, said each victory had its own importance.

Victory in Dubai was also a birthday gift for Bopanna with the triumph coming on the eve of his 32nd birthday. “After a gap of 7-8 years, I celebrated my birthday in Bangalore. Nothing more than some of my friends mashing cake on my face!” he laughed.

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