Rohan Bopanna and his partner Matthew Ebden advanced to the men's doubles final at the Australian Open after a thrilling three-set semi-final victory over Thomas Machac and Zhang Zhishen. The Bopanna-Ebden duo secured the first set 6-3 but faced a setback as they lost the second set 3-6. The match reached a tense third set, with both pairs displaying their best performance, ultimately leading to a tie-breaker. Bopanna and Ebden maintained composure and clinched the tie-breaker with a score of 10-7. In reaching the final, Bopanna set a new record as the oldest man to reach a Grand Slam final, surpassing his previous record.
The legendary Tennis star has reached the Australian Open final for the first time in his career. In the pair's previous Grand Slam appearance at the US Open 2023, Bopanna and Ebden also reached the final. The second-seeded Indo-Australian duo encountered tough competition in the third set, but their experience in playing Super Tie Breakers proved crucial as they secured the victory with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (10-7) scoreline after two hours and two minutes.
It was just a day of securing the assurance of becoming the world's number one player, Bopanna continued to deliver strong serves on crucial points and showcased his skills with strokes and tricks when needed the most. Despite reaching the US Open final twice (in 2013 and 2023), a Grand Slam trophy has remained elusive for Bopanna in his career.
Indian tennis needed this win: Bopanna
Currently, the legendary Tennis star is at the twilight of his career at the age of 43. Bopanna will have the opportunity to check that box on Saturday. Earlier, due to his exceptional form, Bopanna secured the World No. 1 spot in men's doubles tennis. Partnering with Matthew Ebden, the 43-year-old reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the first time in his extended career. In an interview with Sony Sports Network, Bopanna expressed that being there in the sport was amazing. He even added that this win was crucial for Indian tennis.
"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.