Bopanna eyes strong finish to the season

Bopanna eyes strong finish to the season

Rohan Bopanna

It has been a long wait for Rohan Bopanna to get the Arjuna Award. The 38-year-old expressed gratitude for being finally named for the award, but could not make it to the function as he is busy with his Tour commitments.

Bopanna, however, said he would go in person to collect the award once he is back home. “It is a very prestigious award, it means a lot to me. I would have loved to receive it at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on the designated day, but I had committed to play in Chengdu Open before my name was confirmed for the award,” Bopanna told DH from Chengdu, China.

Last year Bopanna had slammed the All India Tennis Association (AITA) for not sending his name for the Arjuna award before the deadline. Bopanna, who won his maiden Asian Games gold medal with Divij Sharan last month, however, wouldn't dwell on the past.

“It won't be appropriate for me to remark on what happened in the past. I am extremely happy to have been selected for the award, even though it came a little late,” said Bopanna, who had won the French Open mixed doubles title in 2017.

Bopanna, who was out of action for six weeks due to a shoulder injury, was eager to make up for the lost time with doubles partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin. “We have an outside chance to make it to London Masters. We have two ATP 500 and two ATP 1000 Masters left, so we will be trying our best for that,” he said.

The Davis Cup World Group tie against Serbia wasn't a favourable one for India. Bopanna lost the doubles with Saketh Myneni but felt there was still a lot to look forward to. “You always feel you can do better, but playing Serbia at their home on indoor clay while trailing 0-2 was not easy. We still have one more shot, so we will be looking to give our best in the coming tie,” he said.