Rohan Bopanna and Mat Ebden defeated Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori 7-6(0) 7-5 to win the Men’s Australian Open Doubles title in what proved a very popular result with an Aussie lifting a trophy and his Indian partner, at 43-years-of age, becoming the oldest Grand Slam male winner in the Open era.
For me, without a doubt the best moment in my career. With the year we had last year, to continue and start off like this and win a Grand Slam, you know, no better player to do it with. Rohan Bopanna
Following the victory, Bopanna explained how he keeps in shape.
“I think the recovery is a huge aspect of where I’m really focusing on to get ready, on to the matches,” Bopanna told the media.
“From the first day I landed here in Adelaide till yesterday, every single day I have been in the ice bath. I think that is the number one recovery for me, which really helps all the inflammation in the body.”
Bopanna, who is set to become the doubles world number one on Monday, says he is currently playing the best tennis of his life, but his preparation is very different these days. He is also the third Indian man since 1968 to win a major men’s doubles title after Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi.
“The biggest reason for that is also how I’m managing my body, my time, in terms of there are days when I tell my coach or Matty that I don’t want to practise,” he said.
“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.
“As I’m getting older, I feel I can’t sleep past 7:30, 8:00. I’m up no matter what. Then I have some time by myself, and I enjoy that. Yeah, that has been the biggest key, which has really helped me be calmer and feel refreshed.”
Last year was the beginning of his partnership with Ebden, and after reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals they then made the final of the US Open, but for Bopanna, who won the 2017 French Open mixed doubles, his latest win in Australia tops everything.
“For me, without a doubt the best moment in my career,” he added.
“With the year we had last year, to continue and start off like this and win a Grand Slam, you know, no better player to do it with.”
The oldest ever Grand Slam winner, male or female, is Martina Navratilova, and Bopanna has a while to go to beat her record when she won the US Open mixed doubles in 2003 aged 46 years and 261 days. But he shows no signs of stopping yet.
“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,” Bopanna concluded.
As for Ebden, who is seven years younger than his doubles partner, it is the second time he has won a trophy in Melbourne. His first was back in 2013 when he triumphed in the mixed doubles alongside Jarmila Wolfe. He also won the 2022 Wimbledon title with Max Purcell.
“It’s been such a dream come true to win here in Australia in front of all our home fans,” he said.
“Thank you to all our Australian fans, it’s been my favourite tournament forever and I’ll keep coming back here forever.”
The road to victory was not easy. At the Australia Open, the pair, faced formidable opponents at every turn, each match was a gruelling test of skill, endurance, and mental fortitude. Yet, with each passing victory, their confidence grew. They proved themselves time and again, overcoming the odds and silencing the doubters with their resolve.
And then in the final, they delivered a masterclass in doubles tennis, their flawless teamwork and unyielding determination carrying them to victory. As the final point was won and the crowd erupted in applause, Bopanna’s emotions overflowed. He had rewritten the record books, proving once and for all that age is just a number.