Bopanna Makes History: Oldest ATP No. 1 at 43 | Sportsmonks
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Bopanna Makes History: Oldest ATP No. 1 at 43

Bopanna

In a remarkable feat, veteran tennis player Rohan Bopanna, aged 43, is set to become the oldest ATP world No. 1 in men’s doubles after reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open with his partner Matthew Ebden. The duo secured their spot in the semifinals by defeating Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni with a scoreline of 6-4, 7-6 (5).

Bopanna, a seasoned player with over 20 years of experience, expressed his elation at achieving the top ranking. He emphasized that reaching world No. 1 was a dream come true and attributed his success to perseverance over the years. The victory marks a significant breakthrough for Indian tennis, following Sumit Nagal’s historic win against a seeded player at a Grand Slam, a feat not achieved by an Indian player since 1989.

The Indian tennis veteran acknowledged that the accomplishment would serve as inspiration for aspiring tennis players in India, stating, “It hasn’t sunk in fully, to be honest. We are very, very proud. I think Indian tennis, India needed this.” Bopanna sees his achievement as a source of motivation, not only for tennis enthusiasts but for individuals worldwide, especially those above the age of 40.

Rajeev Ram, an American doubles specialist, held the record as the oldest player to reach the ATP’s No. 1 ranking at the age of 38 in March 2022. Bopanna’s achievement surpasses this milestone, adding to his list of accomplishments that include two appearances in the US Open men’s doubles final and a mixed doubles victory at the 2017 French Open.

Bopanna’s partner, Matthew Ebden, is also set to climb in the rankings, securing the No. 2 spot due to differences in their tournament participation over the past year. Reflecting on their goals for the 2024 season, Ebden emphasized that reaching World No. 1 and winning prestigious tournaments were their primary objectives. The Australian player praised Bopanna’s accomplishment as a “huge milestone” and acknowledged the incredible achievement, particularly considering Bopanna’s age.

The dynamic duo has consistently performed well in recent Grand Slam tournaments, making it to the semifinals at the Australian Open, last year’s US Open, and last year’s Wimbledon tournament. Their journey to the top ranking has been characterized by determination and a shared commitment to achieving success on the global stage.

Looking ahead, Bopanna and Ebden are scheduled to face Thomas Machac and Zhizhen Zhang in the semifinals of the Australian Open, with the potential to secure a place in the tournament final. As Bopanna’s historic achievement continues to resonate within the tennis community, it underscores the enduring spirit and skill of seasoned players who defy age barriers to leave an indelible mark on the sport.

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By- Sahiba Suri

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