Rohan Bopanna/Ivan Dodig started their US Open campaign on a high note by winning their R1 match against the Aussie pair of Jordan Thompson and James Duckworth. Despite losing the first set, our team came back strong and won the deciding set tiebreaker in a great fashion. In this interview, Rohan Bopanna talks about the match, his partnership with Ivan and how his career has shaped up over the years.
Q) Congratulations on a hard fought win. Great 3rd set tiebreaker. Can you share some thoughts about the match ? What adjustments you had to make after losing the first set ?
They are a good team. Both Thompson and Duckworth play very good singles and doubles so we knew that coming into the match. Unfortunately we went down a couple of breaks in the first set which gave them the momentum but even though we were down 2 breaks, we had a very good chance to come back but credit to them they played a very good first set. I think we told ourselves to focus on our service games from the second set onwards and keep focusing on that and we will get chances on the return games and I think that helped us. Also in the third set at 5-5, we were 15-40 down on my serve and I managed to play a couple of good points and hold that service game. I think in the tiebreak we were definitely far better and we played some fantastic points.
Q) This is your first Grand Slam with Ivan. When did you decide to team up for the US Open ?
After Wimbledon, I didn’t have a partner and Ivan Dodig actually contacted my coach and asked if I would like to play the hard court swing starting from Washington and I have played with him before and know that he is an extremely good doubles player. He complements my game pretty well. Thats how we teamed up.
Q) This is your 128th Grand Slam match. You have been competitive and successful for so many years. How different it feels playing now versus when you first started ? What changed over the years for you ?
The experience of playing these matches and being out there and enjoying the moment and playing at such a high level. Also in such close matches when you can trust in your game, in yourself, it gets the best out of any tennis player. When you can really believe in yourself and I think that over the years has given me so much experience playing and competing against the best in the world. I am really happy that at the age of 41, I am still competing with the best players in the world and I feel every time that I get into a tournament, I sort of have a good feeling of going into the tournament and winning it.
Q) How do you like your chances at this year’s US Open ? Do you think you can win the whole thing ?
It is literally match after match the guys that we play and next up we have a French pair that we have never really played so we have to go and do some homework on how they play and figure out the next strategies.
Q) What are your plans for the rest of the year ?
After here, we have Davis Cup in Finland which I am looking forward to. After Davis Cup, I might play 1 week in Europe and then move to US for Indian Wells. The travel is a little bit different compared to the last so many years and just playing tournament after tournament and not really planning too far ahead and depending where I am in my ranking also and accordingly I can choose and pick a partner and play week by week.