Indian Wells (USA):
India’s Rohan Bopanna became the oldest player to win an ATP Masters 1000 event by winning the men’s doubles title with his Australian partner Matt Ebden at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament here. Bopanna is 43 now. He and the 35-year-old Ebden beat top-seeded Dutch pair of Wesley Koolhof and Britain’s Neil Skupski 6-3, 2-6, 10-8 in Saturday’s final.
Bopanna, playing in his 10th ATP Masters 1000 final, said, “Really special. That’s why it is called the heaven of tennis. I have been coming here for years and watching people win titles. I am really happy that me and Matt were able to win the title here. The player, who played mixed doubles with Sania Mirza for a long time, said, ‘We played tough and close matches. Today we faced the best team here. I am really very happy that we were able to win the trophy.
Bopanna thus left behind Canadian Daniel Nestor, who won the 2015 Cincinnati Masters at the age of 42. “I talked to Danny Nestor and I told him I’m sorry I’m going to break his record,” he joked. This title will always be with me and I am really happy with it. It was Bopanna’s fifth overall and first Masters 1000 doubles title since Montecarlo Open in 2017. This was the third final of the pair of India and Australia this year. Bopanna has so far won a total of 24 titles at the tour level.
The pair of Bopanna and Ebden defeated defending champions and two-time title winners John Isner and Jack Sock in the semi-finals. Earlier in the quarterfinals, they defeated Canada’s Felix Auger Alissime and Denis Shapovalov. The Indo-Australian pair had defeated Rafael Matos and David Vega Hernandez in their opening match. Bopanna, a former world number three, has climbed four places to 11th in the ATP doubles rankings with the win.
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