Rohan Bopanna did the unthinkable by becoming the oldest man to win a Grand Slam at 43. His triumph at the Australian Open men’s doubles partnering Matt Ebden was all the more remarkable when one takes into fact that he almost retired a couple of years ago.
Bopanna, who is nicknamed ‘Bofors’, has shown that age is just a number. His booming serves, coupled with lethal volleying at the net, have made him such a potent force.
Bopanna met PM Narender Modi on his return and gifted the racket with which he won the Australian Open. “I had the privilege to meet our honourable Prime Minister Modi ji. This acknowledgement is very humbling & it was my honour to present the very racket that led me to become World No. 1 and the AO Grand Slam champion,” Bopanna said on X.
On his part, PM Modi said, “Glad to have met you @rohanbopanna. Your accomplishment makes India proud and your dedication motivates several people. My best wishes for your endeavours ahead”.
The reasons for Bopanna’s success is quite simple. As he himself put it, “I know at 43, there is not much gym or training I can subject my body to. I decided not to punish my body anymore, instead relying on my experience. I also resort to Iyengar Yoga a lot now. This has really helped me to relax and also increase my focus on the tennis court,’ he added.
Life has come a full circle for Bopanna. A couple of years ago he failed to win a single match for five months and eager to hang up his rackets. With his superlative show in the Australian Open, Bopanna will be eager to set the record straight at the Paris Olympics later this year.