India’s Rohan Bopanna and partner Matthew Ebden reach the Australia Open men’s doubles tennis final, beating the pair of Thomas Machac and Zhang Zhishen in a thrilling 3-set semi-final. The pairing of Bopanna-Ebden won the first set comfortably, 6-3 before losing the second 3-6. The third set saw both pairs giving their best, taking it to the tie-breaker. Bopanna and Ebden held their nerves to win the tie-breaker 10-7. In the process of entering the final, Bopanna broke his own record of being the oldest man at a Grand Slam final.
It is the first time ever that Bopanna has entered the Australian Open final. In the last Grand Slam he played (US Open 2023), Bopanna and Ebden had entered the final as well.
The second seeded Indo-Australian pair faced some stiff resistance from their rivals in the third set but eventually the experience of playing Super Tie Breakers helped them nail the finish with a 6-3 3-6 7-6 (10-7) scoreline after two hours and two minutes.
A day after he was assured of becoming the world number one player, Bopanna as usual served well on big points and also manage to pull out the strokes and tricks when they needed the most.
Bopanna has reached the US Open final twice (2013, 2023) but a Major trophy has eluded him in his career.
Now at the fag end of his career at the age of 43, he will have the chance to tick that box on Saturday.
Earlier, Bopanna due to his exceptional form, secured the World No. 1 spot in men’s doubles tennis. Pairing with Matthew Ebden, the 43-year-old has reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the first time in his prolonged career.
In an interview with Sony Sports Network, Bopanna said that after being there in the sport, it was “absolutely amazing.” He added that Indian tennis needed this win.
“It feels absolutely amazing and incredible to be where I am today, especially after 20 years of being in the sport and constantly trying to achieve at the highest level. Indian tennis needed this. While watching sports, you always had idols growing up and someone who inspired you. I hope my reaching the No 1 position inspires someone back home. With all the support I have received in the last two decades, this is something I have to give back to the entire nation,” Bopanna had said.