Aged 43, Rohan Bopanna became the oldest male player in the Open era to ever win a grand slam title on Saturday when he and his partner, Matthew Ebden, won the Australian Open men’s doubles tournament.
India’s Bopanna and Australia’s Ebden completed a 7-6(0) 7-5 victory over Italians Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori, producing a dominant serving performance in which they did not face a single break point.
“Without a doubt the best moment in my career,” Bopanna said afterwards, according to the Australian Open’s official website. “I had thoughts of quitting and stopping, but to just persevere and enjoy what I was doing, I think, was the best thing I told myself.
“For years and years I’ve been trying to, you know, get there. I mean, the hurdle was tough.”
The pair have each won grand slam titles separately – Bopanna won the 2017 French Open mixed doubles while Ebden won the 2013 Australian Open mixed doubles and 2022 Wimbledon men’s doubles – but this marked their first trophy together after they lost last year’s US Open final.
Bopanna’s 61 attempts at winning a men’s doubles grand slam title prior to his triumph on Saturday also set a new Open era record, while he is set to become the world’s oldest No. 1 tennis player in history after this tournament.
“Age truly really is not even a number for this guy,” Ebden said, according to Reuters. “He’s young at heart, he’s a champion, he’s a warrior. He’s fought hard by my side this whole past year.”
Bopanna has attributed much of his success later in his career to Iyengar yoga, crediting it with strengthening his legs and bodies as well as improving his focus on the court.
And he has no intention of retiring from tennis just yet, especially when he says he is “playing my best tennis of my life.”
“I think the recovery is a huge aspect of where I’m really focusing on,” he added. “I have stopped going to the gym. I really do specific kind of work for my body. I do a lot of yoga. In the morning I do some meditation to just start off the day … which has really helped me be calmer and feel refreshed.
“As long as I’m enjoying and playing my best tennis, I don’t see there is any reason to really stop at the moment.”
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