Bopanna eyes more glory

Bopanna eyes more glory

Just before the start of Wimbledon, Rohan Bopanna and Mahesh Bhupathi surprisingly decided to part ways as they weren’t able to achieve the desired results. The move turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Bopanna.

Not only did he reach the men’s doubles semifinals at SW 19 for the first time with his new partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin, he also scaled a career-high ranking of No 5, thanks to the good show. Having achieved a sweet double, Bopanna said he is relieved that hard work is slowly bearing fruit.

“It’s a sweet double for me,” said Bopanna on the sidelines of a function organised by GoSports here. “At this elite level, it’s all about fine-tuning those little things. I’ve been working hard on my fitness and volleying skills which has been the key factor to my progress.

“People keep saying you have a big serve and a big game but at the end of the day in doubles you need to have those volleys and finishing skills at the net. Scott Davidoff, who has been coaching me for the last 2-1/2 years, has been working really hard with me post matches. I should say, it is all paying off now.

“Mahesh and me were doing really well at ATP events but have been struggling a bit especially at the Grand Slams. That’s the reason why we decided to go with different partners for Wimbledon. Fortunately my association with Edouard worked brilliantly as we reached the semifinals.”

Bopanna has changed six partners before associating himself with Roger-Vasselin. While attributing his succes to playing with an open mind, the 33-year-old said he would be pairing up with Roger-Vasselin for remainder of the season.

“Yes, I am going to be playing with Edouard from Cincinnati Masters onwards because he’s not playing at Washington and Montreal as he’s taking off for those two weeks.

Playing singles is his main priority at the moment and I need to respect that. Edouard is a very down to earth guy and it makes things very easy for me. More than reaching the Wimbledon semifinals, I believe the tough matches in the early rounds helped us bond better -- the five-set win in the second round really got us together.”

The International Tennis Premier League, Bhupathi’s plan to bring in the best players to India has been creating quite a buzz. Bopanna said such events will inspire youngsters to take up the sport.

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