India's Bopanna wins Australian doubles title, becomes oldest male Grand Slam winner in Open era

'Magical' Rohan Bopanna makes every Indian proud by creating tennis history in Australia

By Team KT

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India's Rohan Bopanna (L) and Australia's Matthew Ebden celebrate with the trophy after victory against Italy's Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori during their men's doubles final. - AFP
India's Rohan Bopanna (L) and Australia's Matthew Ebden celebrate with the trophy after victory against Italy's Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori during their men's doubles final. - AFP

Published: Sat 27 Jan 2024, 5:06 PM

Last updated: Sun 28 Jan 2024, 5:21 PM

India’s doubles specialist Rohan Bopanna teamed up with Australia’s Matthew Ebden on Saturday to make history by winning the Australian Open Men’s doubles title.

The 43-year-old Bopanna and 36-year-old Ebdon defeated the unseeded Italian duo of Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori 7-6 (7-0) 7-5 in a hugely entertaining match.

Bopanna became the oldest No. 1 player in men’s doubles history and the oldest tennis player to win the Australian Open in the Open Era.

“I don’t consider myself 43-year-old, I think I’m level 43 now,” Bopanna said on Centre Court at the Rod Laver Arena. “This would not have been possible if I did not have a fantastic player, like Matthew, by my side.

“Thank you for helping me achieve this laurel. This is magical."

“To win this at this stage in my career is insane. But it feels great,” added Bopanna who recently was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award of the Republic of India.

Ebdon described the win saying it was 'meant to be.'

Bopanna was already the oldest tennis player to reach a Grand Slam final, breaking his own record from the US Open last year.

This was the first men’s doubles final for the Indian at the Australian Open and third in Grand Slams. He had reached the men’s doubles final of the 2010 US Open with Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and the 2023 US Open with Ebden but lost on both occasions.

Bopanna, whose only Grand Slam title came at the 2017 French Open in mixed doubles, has featured in the Australian Open final in 2018 and 2023 but in mixed doubles.

Bopanna and Ebden saw off Argentina’s Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni, the sixth seeds, in the quarter-finals before defeating Zhang Zhizhen and Tomas Machac in a three-set thriller in the semis.

Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori defeated Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann and Dominik Koepfer in the semi-final on Thursday. Their biggest win at the Australian Open 2024 came against Germany’s eighth-seeded pair of Tim Puetz and Kevin Krawietz in the quarter-finals.

Results

MEN'S DOUBLES - FINAL

Rohan Bopanna (Ind) & Matthew Ebden (Aus) beat Simone Bolelli (Ita) & Andrea Vavassori (Ita) 7-6 (7-0) 7-5

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