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Bopanna wins farewell tie, India advance to World Group I play-offs

Updated on: 18 September,2023 08:29 AM IST  |  Lucknow

Rohan Bopanna wins farewell tie as India advance to World Group I play-offs; says his decision to stop playing Davis Cup is to spend more time with family

Bopanna wins farewell tie, India advance to World Group I play-offs

Team India celebrates after winning the Davis Cup World Group II tie in Lucknow yesterday

Rohan Bopanna brought the curtains down on his Davis Cup career with a comfortable straight sets win alongside Yuki Bhambri before Sumit Nagal won his reverse singles as India advanced to the World Group I playoffs with a 4-1 triumph against Morocco here on Sunday.

As one of the most powerful servers of the game makes the exit, the next generation players will have to up their game. Bopanna will continue playing on the ATP Tour.

Asked why he has decided to quit Davis Cup when he will still be active on Pro Tour, Bopanna justified his decision. 

“The number one thing is that there is another Indian who takes my spot. On the tour, that’s not going to happen,” Bopanna told PTI.

“And over the years, a week off here and there before big events has made that difference. So if I stop Davis Cup and get those two weeks off, it makes such a big difference in terms of how my body is feeling and everything.

Also Read: 'Rohan Bopanna’s experience is invaluable': Rohit Rajpal

Daughter one of the reasons

“And one of the major reasons, also is that we have a daughter who’s four years old. I would like to spend time also at home. It has been a fantastic journey, everything has to come to an end,” he added.

The 43-year-old Bopanna, coming out to play his 33rd and final tie, and Bhambri raced to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Elliot Benchetrit and Younes Lalami Laaroussi in one hour and 11 minutes at the Mini Stadium. 

India’s No. 1 singles player Sumit Nagal outgunned Yassine Dlimi 6-3, 6-3 in the first reverse singles to seal the World Group II tie. It is only the second time that Nagal has won both his singles matches in a Davis Cup tie. He had got a similar result under his belt while playing against Pakistan in Kazakhstan in 2019.

Rookie Digvijay Pratap Singh, who ended runner-up at the Fenesta Nationals last year, won the inconsequential fifth rubber against Walid Ahouda 6-1, 5-7, 10-6 on his debut.
Morocoo won only one rubber in the tie when Sasikumar Mukund conceded the opening singles against Dlimi due to cramps.

An emotional Bopanna rested his India-shirt on the court, marking the end of his Davis Cup career in which he played 50 matches in 33 ties, winning 23 rubbers, including 13 in doubles.

Watched by his family and friends, Bopanna, who made his Davis Cup debut in 2002, acknowledged the fans appreciation and blew kisses towards the spectators stands.

50 close ones for support

About 50 of Bopanna’s family and friends flew to Lucknow to watch the Coorg player in action one last time in Davis Cup. They were wearing T-shirts that had a tri-colour-waving Bopanna picture printed.

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