India’s Rohan Bopanna became the oldest tennis player to win an ATP Masters 1000 title when he bagged the men’s doubles crown at the Indian Wells Masters 2023 tournament with Australian partner Matthew Ebden in California on Saturday.
The 43-year-old Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden, 35, upset Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands and Neil Skupski of Britain, the top seeds, 6-3, 2-6, 10-8 in the final to lift the BNP Paribas Open trophy.
“Truly special. It’s called Tennis Paradise for a reason,” Bopanna said. “I’ve been, over the years, coming here and seeing all these guys win for so many years. I’m really happy that Matt and I were able to do this and get this title here.
“It’s been some tough matches, close matches. Today we played against one of the best teams out there. Really happy that we got the trophy.”
Before Bopanna, Canadian Daniel Nestor was the oldest player to win an ATP Masters 1000 title after he clinched the 2015 Cincinnati Masters at the age of 42.
“I spoke to Danny Nestor and I told him sorry, I’m going to beat his record,” Bopanna said. “Winning the title – that stays with me, so really happy with that.”
Bopanna has now won 24 ATP titles, including five ATP Masters 1000. It was the Indian tennis player’s second title this year after winning the Qatar Open, also with Ebden, last month.
Earlier in the Indian Wells semi-finals, the unseeded Bopanna-Ebden pair defeated defending champions John Isner and Jack Sock of the USA 7(8)-6(6), 7(7)-6(2) in the hard court event.
In the quarter-finals, the Indo-Australian duo upstaged the Canadian pair of Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 7-5. Bopanna-Ebden received a walkover in the round of 16 over Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and Hubert Hurkacz of Poland. In their opener, Bopanna-Ebden beat Brazil’s Rafael Matos and Spain’s David Vega Hernandez 7-5, 3-6, 10-6.
Bopanna, a former world No. 3 in men’s doubles, was 15th in the ATP doubles rankings ahead of the tournament. The Indian Wells Masters win lifted him to 11th in the live doubles tennis rankings.
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