“This is where we want to be” – Bopanna & Ebden after making yet another Masters final

Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden continued their scintillating run at the Rolex Paris Masters. They beat Harri Heliovaara and Mate Pavic from a set down to make the fourth ATP Masters 1000 Final of the year.

They will take on the winners of the match between Rajeev Ram/Joe salisbury and Santiago Gonzalez/ and. Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the final tomorrow. If they win that match, they will become the world number one doubles team.

They caught up with Vatsal Madhup Tolasaria after their semi-final match. Excerpts below:

Q) Back to back Masters 1000 finals after Shanghai. How are you feeling?

ME – Yeah, I hadn’t thought of that really. We were focused in Shanghai, then we took a couple of weeks off. We still got 3-4 weeks to go (in the season), so we still got a big month ahead of us. We knew we still got a lot of big titles and points on the line, so yeah, we made sure to schedule well, so we were still peaking for this tournament and for Turin coming up, so I think it’s really good signs.

I think we said yesterday we’ve been learning, but I think we’ve been improving as well, month by month, and I feel even this week we’ve been improving even again from Shanghai, so I’m really happy, good signs, and into the final here, it’s where we want to be.

Q) Ro, what has picked up, if anything has, or have you just maintained a steady level?

RB – I think the understanding between each other has really picked up, and trusting each other’s games in various situations in close matches, and I think that is what has really improved, it has been there for a few months, but I think now we really believe in each other’s games much more, and we understand what our patterns are and what works for us, and I think that has made that difference.

Q) Completely contrasting match as compared to the quarter-final. You had a set point in the first set, then lost the set in the tiebreak. What was running in your mind at that point to turn it around, what were you thinking?

ME – I think overall it was a really high quality match, hardly anybody put any foot wrong, there was basically no real unforced errors, not really a double fault, not really a missed maybe one volley here or there, but they really made us earn the break in the second set. Even in the first set one point went their way, they played a good tiebreaker, they didn’t miss any serves, they made their returns, but the second set was clutch we held on strong, and then we had to really clutch that game, and they made us come up with really, really big plays to break them. And then even to win the Super Tiebreak we had to play pretty perfect on our serves, and we had to play some pretty clutch returns.

So, you know, credit to them for keeping that really high level and I’m glad we kept that high level and then eclipsed it with a few really important points. That was the difference.

RB – Talking about the contrast, you know, matches like yesterday doesn’t happen often.

The match finished in like 35 -40 minutes, I mean, it’s a blessing for us. These are (the one today) the regular matches which happen. Like Matt said, we just had to really stay strong right till the end of the tiebreak.

We know they both like playing tennis indoors. They play pretty fast and, you know, both very good players. Even though they haven’t played too much together, credit to the way they’ve played this entire week.

Q) And we spoke about the court surface yesterday. You said court one and court two are quite fast. This was your first match on centre court this week, so did you find any difference in terms of the surface?

ME – Not really. I felt it was pretty much the same.

RB – Yes, I think there is a little bit of difference in terms of from Court 1 to Centre. I think it is not as smooth as the Court 1 surface and so it is a little bit more rough in terms of that. But then I think that works same for both the teams.

I think no doubles has really been played on Centre such except for one match during the week. But we are professionals, we get used to these surfaces, we try and figure out a way.

Q) What do you do between now and Turin?

ME – The plan is to go on Monday to Turin. I have my family here too so we will go there early and set up camp there. Enjoy a few days of acclimatising I guess, a bit of physical gym work and then probably practice there from the middle of the week and prepare there.

It is kind of a two week event here. You are sort of meant to go there early and get settled in and then get ready for it to Sunday start. So I head straight to Turin and become Italian for those two weeks (laughs)

And I have got a lot coming up still, you know, Davis Cup as well. So that was the key of our scheduling. After US Open, Bops had some extra things. We had Davis Cup as well so then we just did Shanghai, pulled out of Tokyo, pulled out of Vienna, made sure we had a couple of weeks off at home just to put our feet on the ground, enjoy home, just relax, chill out a bit, train a bit and come for November with a full tank.

Because obviously Paris, Turin, Davis Cup is three huge titles on the line so that is what we want to make sure we are picking for and so far so good.

Q) Next up is either a rematch against Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury from the US Open final or Gonzalez and Roger Vasselin. Thoughts?

RB – Any match at this level will be tough. There will be no favorites. We’ll give it our best shot and see how it goes.

Q) You will become the World No.1 team if you win tomorrow…….

RB – I’ll speak to you tomorrow on that (laughs)

Vatsal is a tennis player and fanatic. Currently learning French

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