Dubai: India's premier doubles tennis player Rohan Bopanna has been in a rich vein of form. Last month, he reached the summit clash of the ATP Tour World Doubles Finals in London alongwith his Romanian partner Florin Mergea. Bopanna helped his team Indian Aces defeat Japan Warriors25-18 on the opening day of the Coca Cola IPTL .
Rohan Bopanna. Pic/PTI
Bopanna derived plenty of satisfaction as he upstaged his Davis Cup partner Leander Paes in an enthralling doubles tie. Bopanna paired up with Croatian Ivan Dodig to score a thrilling 5-5 (7-2) shootout win over Leander Paes and Frenchman Pierre Hughes Herbert.
Bopanna brimming with confidence served big, struck wonderful service returns and volleyed with aplomb. He also used the lob to good effect. The only hiccup was dropping serve as the Indian and Frenchman strung up a few points together.
"I have been working on my lob recently. I try to use it more in matches and I am happy the hard work is paying off," explained the Indian Numero Uno.
Bopanna was also happy with his backhand. One backhand in particular was straight off Paes's shotbook. With minimum of backswing and plenty of finesse he caressed a backhand winner past a stunned Paes.
"Yes that shot gave me a lot of joy. I have been working on that particular backhand," said the affable Indian.
Bopanna hopes to begin the New Year with a bang. "I play the Sydney international in January with my partner Florin Mergea. I would love to win the event and start the year on a rousing note."
The Rio Olympics are less than a year away, but Rio is just not on Bopanna's mind.
"There is plenty of time. I don't know if I will play with Leander in any tourneys leading upto the Olympics. To be honest, both Lee and myself don't have enough Masters points and with our current rankings (Bopanna World No.9 and Leander Paes No.29) I am not sure we will qualify for the Olympics," said the frank Coorgi.
Bopanna has gelled with the other Indian Aces players and feels they are a strong unit. "We are currently top of the standings. I am sure we will retain our title," he signed off.