Rohan Bopanna satisfied with his season

He is happy to have handled all the uncertainties with aplomb

It has been a fascinating season with all the uncertainties and Rohan Bopanna is happy to have salvaged the best tennis in the bargain.

After winding up the season with the Paris ATP Masters quarterfinals, the 40-year-old Bopanna is back at his tennis academy in Bengaluru, providing guidance to youngsters.

Having returned to the professional circuit after lockdown with a quarterfinals in the US Open, and following it up with good wins on clay before winding up on the hard courts in the final leg, Bopanna was understandably satisfied at his ability to get the best out of himself on both surfaces.

“I must have done about 35 COVID tests. They were so different. In one place we had to just gargle water and spit for the test. In some places, they really drilled into our nose and throat,” recalled Bopanna.

With suitable caution and measures, Bopanna was happy that many different levels of players, from national champion Niki Poonacha to the youngsters learning the technique, were back on court at his academy, getting ready for the season ahead.

“I wish I had such a facility when I was growing up. It would have cut the time taken for growth by so many years.

“Instead of wasting energy on facing the multiple challenges, one could have just focused on tennis and got better,” said Bopanna.

With seasoned coach M. Balachandran managing the programme with a battery of competent coaches and other experts at the Sports School, Bopanna said that he would close his other centre and focus on tennis in one place.

No clarity

There is not so much clarity about the professional season ahead with Australia demanding a two-week quarantine for players visiting the country for the tennis events including the Australian Open.

“The request is to be able to train during quarantine period. All events are supposed to be held in Melbourne. The other events like Doha are being shifted to a later date. There is no sign of the Pune ATP,” said Bopanna.

The answers will come in due course of time, and the players may have to fly to Australia in December.

For the moment, Bopanna is happy to be home with family and spend quality time with his trainees.

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