A proud moment for Bopanna

A proud moment for Bopanna

Doubles ace to partner Roger-Vasselin next season

A proud moment for Bopanna

Rohan Bopanna has enjoyed a memorable season. The biggest moment of the India No 1 doubles player's career arrived when he clinched his maiden Grand Slam title -- the French Open mixed doubles crown with Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada.

On Thursday, the 37-year-old was honoured by the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) for his special feat. In the presence of his family members and friends, a portrait of Bopanna was unveiled at the venue.

"It is truly very special and a big honour for me to be here and unveil my portrait. It's been such a huge success. You always represent your State before you don the country's colours so Karnataka always came first for me. KSLTA has been a big support by conducting tournaments over the years and helping players to become world-class athletes."

Bopanna also announced that his academy  the Rohan Bopanna Tennis Academy – would be associating with the KSLTA from December 1. "Apart from the academy in Yelahanka that was started one and half years ago, I would be starting an academy here. I never had such facilities during my junior days and I see quality training as a necessity. A couple of foreign coaches will be training the players," he said.

Apart from the French Open crown, Bopanna bagged three titles and finished runners-up in three tournaments this year. Two of his titles Erste Bank Open in Vienna and Monte Carlo Masters – came with Pablo Cuevas. In the next season, Bopanna will combine with Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France after parting ways with his Uruguayan partner.

"I am looking forward to next year. The reason why I chose Roger-Vasselin was that he only focuses on doubles. He was my partner in 2013 and it helps when you have played with someone before. He is a solid player. He is someone who returns well and it gives me the freedom to take my chances and play my game, which is being aggressive. The challenge I had with Cuevas was that he would play singles in the tournament and we wouldn't practice much because of that. The focus next year will once again be Grand Slams and Masters," he explained.