Recovering Rohan Bopanna aims to play Qatar Open in January
The Qatar ExxonMobil Open will be held in Doha from January 6 to 12
Forced out of India's recent Davis Cup tie due to a shoulder injury, doubles specialist Rohan Bopanna on Thursday said his recovery is on the right track and he plans to compete at the Qatar Open in January. "It (the shoulder) is getting better and I just started training, maybe 2-3 days ago. So, I have a whole month before the season starts. So it will be fine by the time the first tournament starts, which is on the January 6th - Doha event in Qatar," Bopanna told PTI.
The Qatar ExxonMobil Open will be held in Doha from January 6 to 12. The 39-year-old had pulled out from India's Davis Cup tie against Pakistan after sustaining a shoulder injury. "There was a small tear after I took the MRI. Initially, the doctors said that it should be fine after 15 days rest, but it didn't and when I went to practice, there was still lot of pain," he said.
Bopanna launched the 'ASICS Limited Edition GEL-NIMBUS 22' and race day t-shirt for the 'Tata Mumbai Marathon', which will be held on January 19 next year. India earned a spot in the 2020 Qualifiers of the Davis Cup after they thrashed arch-rivals Pakistan 4-0 in the tie held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. On the Davis Cup performance, Bopanna said, "We were always favourites going into the tie (against Pakistan). If you see that 4 matches out of five were in singles and we have higher-ranked singles players, so we were always favourites, irrelevant of where we played the tie.
"Having said that, every time team India wins it is a big satisfaction, whether I am in the team or not in the team, as players, we support each other and encourage each other. At the end of the day, the country won and that's the biggest (thing) for me and everyone." One of the architects of the win was 46-year-old Leander Paes, who went on to better his own record by achieving his 44th Davis Cup doubles win last week.
Bopanna, who has played with Paes in the past, heaped praise on the veteran player. "You have to love the sport in order to be playing for this long. He has had a tremendous career from a very young age and achieved so much in the sport," he said. "Tennis has grown in this country because he has got so many laurels to the country and he keeps motivating all the youngsters, irrelevant of whether he is in the team or not.
"It is big boost for every single to watch him play out there and perform," he signed off.
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