YOUNG AT FORTY: Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden, the new Miami Open Men’s Doubles champion

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A few days ago, everyone was talking about the good catch M.S. Dhoni took at the age of 42 in the IPL, praising him for his fitness.

On the other hand, 44-year- old Rohan Bopanna is winning titles along with his 36-year-old partner Matthew Ebden in tennis men’s doubles.

It looks like forty is the new thirty.

World No. 1 and top seeded Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden have won the ATP 1000 Miami Open (6-7, 6-3, 10-6) against the second seeded
American-Crotian pair of Austin Krajicek and Ivan Dodig, also avenging their defeat against the same pair last year at the Rotterdam Open 2023 with a scoreline of 6-7, 6-2, 10-12.

It was not a comfortable victory for them as they lost their close-fought first set in a tiebreak (6-7). Then they made a comeback, winning their second set (6-3), eventually winning the final set and match in a super tiebreak (10-6).

Bopanna and Ebden’s journey to the Miami Open Final 2024 hasn’t been comfortable. They had to toil hard to win the coveted title.

Starting off with the Round of 32, Rohan and Matthew won against the Italian pair of Andrea Vavassori and Simone Bolelli. Despite losing their first set, the pair came back from behind, winning the match 4-6, 7-6(4), 10-4.

This was a hard-fought victory for them, compared to an easy one against the same pair at
Australian Open early this year. They were pushed by Polish-Monégasque pair of Jan Zieliński and Hugo Nys in the Round of 16, but that didn’t stop them from winning in straight games 7-5, 7-6 (3) to reach the quarterfinals.

Whereas in the quarterfinals, the duo lost the first set due to several unforced errors, but overcoming their loss, they made a comeback and won the gruelling quarterfinal match 3-6, 7-6 (4), 10-7.

Semi-Finals, on the other hand, was a different ball game all-together as the top-seeded Indo-Australian pair won their match in a commanding fashion by defeating the 4th seeds, Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos, 6-1, 6-4, to reach the finals, also redeeming themselves from the loss against the same pair in the Shanghai final back in 2023.

The journey, though, was a tough one, but it was worth it in the end, as Bopanna won his sixth ATP Masters 1000 title, and with this, he also completed the career Sunshine Doubles with Matthew Ebden.
This win led Rohan to become the oldest player to win an ATP Masters 1000 title at the age of 44, beating his own record, which he achieved last year at the Indian Wells Masters tournament at the age of 43.

Courtesy IndiaTennisDaily

Bopanna also became the fourth Indian to win the Miami Open after Leander Paes, who won it for three consecutive years (2010–12), Mahesh Bhupathi in 2011 with Leander Paes, and Sania Mirza in 2015 with Swiss player Martina

James Blake, former World No. 4 and current Miami Open Tournament Director, said, “Rohan, you make me feel like a slacker. I’ve had this job for 6 years, but you’re still winning titles.”

Well, what more can you say about this young guy? With this being his 26th professional doubles title, here’s hoping he wins more in the future. When will he stop? who knows? maybe when he gets old.

Until then, this is young Rohan Bopanna’s world, and we are living in it.

Written By Naman Jain

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