Rohan Bopanna’s Dutch partner Matwe Middelkoop speaks about the reason behind his split with Rohan Bopanna despite having his best season on Tour. Middelkoop says that Bopanna has been like a mentor to him and that it’s been a privilege to play with him.
Q) How has the relationship developed with Rohan (Bopanna) and how was it playing the season with him?
MM: In the beginning of the year I was playing with someone else, (Philipp) Oswald. The relation on-court was not as good as we thought it would be. Then I asked Rohan if he was interested because I always wanted to play with him. He’s been on the Tour for so long, is so experienced – he’s actually like a mentor to me. I thought it would be good to play with him. Either I would win or I would learn with him.
Ever since I’ve been playing with him, I’ve learned so much. It’s been a privilege to play with him. We’ve also done very well. We make steady wins, especially in big tournaments. And this has been the best year on Tour so far for me in my doubles career.
Q) What is the secret behind your relationship with Rohan? What works well?
MM: He’s more of a tactician and I’m more of an executioner. He gives me a straight game plan and I like to follow it. I love to execute. He sees all the angles, all the tactics – it’s the experience that kicks in. We also have a great chemistry. It’s also our styles of play. We’re both aggressors from the back, we both have good serves. So that’s already half of the match.
Q) You and Rohan are not going to start 2023 together. Any particular reasons for that given you mentioned you just had your career best season?
MM: The reason has nothing to do with Bopanna. The reason is I want to play a few more years. I am going to play with Robin Haase. He is a good friend of mine. We’ve played a lot together. He’s finally decided to concentrate full-time on doubles from next year, so that is why I decided to play with him, he’s a good friend. We have won a lot of tournaments together – including the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam earlier this year in my home country. This is based on feeling and on what I always wanted. Nothing against Rohan of course (laughs). Because I had my best ever season with him, and I am grateful to him for that.