Rohan Bopanna beat the odds and proved that age is just a number by making history at the Australian Open 2024 and becoming the oldest Grand Slam winner, much like an excellent wine ageing nicely.
Bopanna took an unusual path to tennis success. In contrast to many of his peers, Rohan Bopanna’s career path meandered through a number of sports before he realised at the age of 19 that tennis was his genuine calling.
Despite his late start, he quickly rose through the ranks, displaying talent and promise for future success. But in 2019, Rohan saw his fair share of obstacles and failures, as is typical with any journey characterised by ambition and pursuit. But in keeping with his resilient nature, he recovered more forcefully, leading to this historic victory.
Now that the experienced tennis player has achieved the majority of his trophies and milestones after turning 35, let’s examine his top five achievements.
1. Men’s Doubles Australian Open 2024
Rohan Boppana and Matthew Ebden created history by being the oldest players to win the Australian Open 2024 Men’s Doubles. At the Rod Laver Arena on January 27, they defeated the Italian duo of Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori in straight sets, winning by an exciting 7-6(0), 7-5 score.
With this historic victory, Bopanna achieved his second Grand Slam triumph and cemented his status as the oldest player in tennis history to do so.
2. Mixed Doubles Roland Garros 2017
Bopanna’s first Grand Slam victory came at Roland Garros in 2017. Together with Gabriela Dabrowski, a Canadian, they had a strong tournament run, winning against the favourites.
They lost the opening set of the final, which was a setback in their quest for victory at Roland Garros. But they were resilient, and they pulled off an incredible comeback to defeat the German-Colombian pair of Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah 2-6, 6-2, 12-10.
3. Oldest to claim the ATP 1000 Masters title
On the ATP Tour, Rohan Bopanna has seen great success. He has shown the highest degree of consistency in doubles events. Bopanna and Australian Matthew Ebden achieved a historic first in March 2023 when they became the oldest tennis team to win an ATP Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells. They won 6-3, 2-6, 10-8 against Wesley Koolhof and Neil Skupski, the top-seeded team, in the championship match.
4. Oldest to claim the World No.1 Ranking
Making history, Rohan Bopanna became the oldest player to win the number one ranking in men’s doubles. The 43-year-old Indian player confirmed their domination by cruising into the Australian Open semifinals with Matthew Ebden by a wide margin.
The pair defeated the sixth-seeded Argentines in a tight match, winning 6-4, 7-6(7-5) to advance to their third straight Grand Slam quarterfinal. Age is just a number, and the evidence is in the pudding, as this achievement catapulted the Indian tennis player to the top of doubles tennis.
5. US Open 2010 Finals
The 30-year-old Rohan Bopanna and the Pakistani Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi exhibited a special kind of camaraderie as they went on an incredible trip together in the 2010 US Open men’s doubles. Being the first Indian-Pakistani pair to achieve such a feat in the Open era, they defied the odds and advanced to the event final without dropping a set.
They squared up against Bob and Mike Bryan, the second-seeded team, in the championship match. The Indo-Pakistani pair lost against the American pair 7-6, 7-6, despite their valiant efforts.