Rohan Bopanna becomes the oldest No 1 Ranked: There was a time when Indian tennis was known by the names of the legendary duo Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi. The duo was unstoppable in world tennis, especially in the late 90s and early 2000s, and had clinched the World No 1 ranking in doubles in 1999.
When they were all in the headlines of every tennis column India got, there was a man who was starting his professional career under the glitter of their shadows, and his name was Rohan Bopanna. After 23 years of playing professional tennis, at the age of 43, Bopanna touched the peak of the tennis doubles ranking for the first time in his life, the first time a 43-year-old had ever done so in the history of the game.
Rohan Bopanna becomes the oldest No 1 Ranked Player in History, Speaks
Bopanna and his Australian pair Matt Ebden beat the Argentine players Máximo González and Andrés Molteni 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Wednesday. With the win, the Indo-Australian pair marched into the semifinals and conquered first and second place in the world rankings.
The Indian, who is 43 years old, sees it as an inspiration to the world, especially for the ones who hit their 40s.
“It’s just going to inspire a lot of people, and I don’t think just in tennis,” he said. “People all over the world, being 40 and above, it’s just going to inspire them in a different way.”
Bopanna didn’t forget to credit his playing partner and everyone who has been a part of his whole journey.
“Matt and I both have equal points, so technically, I think we should be No 1 together.”
“It’s been an incredible 20 years of playing this sport, playing these tournaments week-in week-out… Today reaching the World No. 1 ranking is extremely amazing. Proud feeling. Probably hasn’t sunk in fully. Credit to the entire team – family, coach, physio, everyone behind the scenes who play a huge role and always keeping me positive.
“I think India needed this, Indian tennis needed this, and I’m really happy to be representing India across the world in this tennis journey. I’m really thankful for all the support and from my side, this is giving back to everyone in India,” he added.