In a momentous achievement, India’s tennis veteran, Rohan Bopanna, has etched his name in history as the oldest first-time World No. 1 in the men’s doubles category. This milestone was realized alongside his partner, Matthew Ebden, as the duo secured a spot in the semi-finals of the Australian Open 2024 men’s doubles.
Entering the tournament with a career-high ranking of world No. 3, Bopanna’s stellar performance has catapulted him to the pinnacle of tennis success. Following their victory over Argentina’s Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni in the quarterfinals, Bopanna expressed his gratitude, emphasizing the significance of this achievement for Indian tennis.
In a heartfelt statement after the quarter-final match, Bopanna conveyed his appreciation to the support system that has fueled his remarkable journey. “Thank you so much. It’s been an incredible 20 years playing this tournament week in, week out. Reaching the No. 1 ranking today is an extremely amazing and proud feeling,” he remarked.
Bopanna credited his success to the collective efforts of his family, coach, physio, and everyone behind the scenes who played a pivotal role in keeping him positive throughout his career.
The accomplishment holds special significance for Bopanna, who acknowledged the unwavering support of fans over the past two decades. Having secured a place in the Australian Open men’s doubles semi-finals for the first time in 17 attempts, he described this achievement as his way of giving back to the sport and the nation.
Expressing his joy, Bopanna stated, “These last 13 months have been an incredibly consistent kind of a year. I am proud to be where I am today, at the ranking of No. 1. So, India needed this, Indian tennis needed this.” He expressed gratitude for the overwhelming love and support from the entire country, emphasizing that this accomplishment is his way of giving back to everyone in India.
Looking ahead, Bopanna and Ebden are poised for a thrilling semi-final clash against China’s Zhizhen Zhang and Czech Republic’s Tomas Machac on Thursday. A victory in this encounter would not only secure their place in the final but also solidify Bopanna’s place in tennis history as the oldest first-time World No. 1.