In a stunning display of skill and determination, Rohan Bopanna, recently crowned as the world No. 1 in men’s doubles, and his partner Matthew Ebden, achieved a remarkable victory at the Rod Laver Arena to advance to their maiden Australian Open men’s doubles final. This victory adds another milestone to Bopanna’s illustrious career, making him the oldest man to claim the top ranking for the first time.
Facing the formidable duo of Zhang Zhizhen and Tomas Machac in the semifinals, Bopanna and Ebden showcased a strategic approach focused on attacking the net player. The experienced pair seized the initiative by breaking Machac’s serve early in the match, leading to a convincing 6-3 win in the opening set.
However, their unseeded opponents, Machac and Zhang, mounted a spirited comeback in the second set, breaking Ebden’s serve and leveling the match at one set apiece. The contest intensified as both pairs fought for dominance on the court.
Undeterred, Bopanna and Ebden regained their rhythm in the final set, breaking Zhang’s serve to take a 5-3 lead. Yet, the Chinese player fought back, orchestrating a break against Ebden’s serve and forcing a super tiebreak. Displaying nerves of steel, the Indo-Aussie pair maintained their perfect tiebreaker record in Melbourne, ultimately securing the victory with an ace.
With this win, Bopanna reaches his third men’s doubles final at a major, a testament to his enduring prowess on the court. Previously reaching the 2023 US Open final with Ebden, the duo is now poised for another shot at Grand Slam glory.
Having recently attained the world No. 1 ranking, Bopanna’s journey to the final included a remarkable victory over the Argentinian pair of Máximo González and Andrés Molteni. This triumph marked a significant improvement in his Australian Open performance, reaching the semifinals after 17 consecutive appearances at Melbourne Park.
Looking ahead, Bopanna and Ebden will face either Germany’s Dominik Koepfer and Yannick Hanfmann or the Italian combination of Andrea Vavassori and Simone Bolelli in the final. The veteran Indian, eyeing his first men’s doubles Grand Slam trophy, aims to add another historic achievement to his storied career.
If successful, the 44-year-old Bopanna would become the oldest player to clinch a Grand Slam men’s doubles title, solidifying his legacy in tennis history.