Rohan Bopanna Set To Become Oldest Tennis World No. 1 At 43

Rohan Bopanna Set To Become Oldest Tennis World No. 1 At 43

by Nurein Ahmed

Very few stories at this year's Australian Open are quite as inspirational as that of Rohan Bopanna, who is set to become the oldest tennis player to be ranked as World No. 1.

At 43, Bopanna will ascend to the summit of the men's doubles rankings next Monday following the conclusion of the Australian Open. At the Melbourne major, the Indian veteran achieved this landmark after advancing to the semifinals of the doubles tournament.

Having turned pro in 2003, Bopanna bloomed into a doubles operator on the ATP tour, amassing 25 career titles in that discipline. However, his only Grand Slam triumph came at the 2017 French Open mixed doubles tournament while partnering with Gabriela Dabrowski.

He has yet to get his hands on a Grand Slam doubles title, but it would be a fitting way to commemorate his rise to World No. 1 in men's doubles by winning the Australian Open this week. In singles, 38-year-old Stan Wawrinka is the oldest ATP player ranked in the Top 100.

An ecstatic Bopanna reacted to the news, calling it a "dream," declaring his perseverance as key. Moreover, Bopanna hopes his breakthrough at the age of 43 will serve as an inspiration that it is never too late to make a change regardless of any facet of life.

"I think for every player out there, it is a dream. It was my dream, and, you know, more so when you're playing the sport for couple of decades. Then now at this juncture for me to get to World No. 1, I mean, I think my perseverance to the sport, to stay in it and to keep fighting and to keep working hard."

"I think it's just going to inspire a lot of people. I don't think just in tennis. People all over the world, you know, being 40 and above, I think it's just going to inspire them in a different way (smiling)."

Bopanna is partnering with Australia's Matthew Ebden. They won two titles as a team in 2023, in Doha and Indian Wells, respectively. They nearly added to their trophy cabinet at the start of 2024 but lost to Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the Adelaide final.

Bopanna has broken new ground not just in the rankings but also in Melbourne. The World No. 3 in doubles progressed into his first Australian Open doubles semifinal after a 7-6, 6-4 win over the Argentine pair of Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni.


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