Misc Tennis

Bopanna eyes captain’s role in the future as he exits the Davis Cup scene

Storm Sanders was Australia’s hero after she won the first singles rubber before returning for the deciding doubles match alongside 38-year-old Samantha Stosur.

LUCKNOW 17/09/2023: Indias Rohan Bopanna celebrate after winning doubles match teaming with Yuki Bhambri against Morocco in the Davis cup, in Lucknow on Sunday. SEPTEMBER 17, 2023 PHOTO SANDEEP SAXENA
| Photo Credit: SANDEEP SAXENA


In the last few years, Rohan Bopanna, by virtue of being the senior pro, has seemingly taken on a mentorship role within the Indian Davis Cup team. This was evident on Sunday as he sat on the captain’s chair for a good part of debutant Digvijay Pratap Singh’s rubber in the World Group II tie against Morocco.

As he exits the Davis Cup scene, Bopanna said the captain’s role was something that he would be open to in the future.

“I want to thank the entire nation, the captains I have played under; it has been a great journey”Bopanna

“If there is an opportunity, I will certainly look at it,” Bopanna said, after India’s 4-1 victory. “I can only see myself helping these players. I have spent so many years playing Davis Cup, week in and week out, through the tough moments and the big wins. If the opportunity comes, I would love to be in a place to guide these guys.”

Even as the 43-year-old looked ahead with optimism, his last Davis Cup tie was a bitter-sweet moment.

“It is sad to be leaving the Davis Cup team but I am simultaneously proud to have played for the country. I want to thank the entire nation, the captains I have played under… it has been a great journey.

“I was extremely happy with a win [vs. Morocco] and we have good players to take things forward and I will be supporting them. But for now, the two weeks off [during Davis Cup windows] will be spent with my family.”

Bopanna’s decision to walk away from the Davis Cup at a time when his tennis was still top-draw has evoked surprise.

He is now World No. 7 and has made two Major finals this year, with the most recent coming at the US Open, and will continue playing on the ATP Tour. But at no point did he have a rethink.

“Absolutely not. These are two different things. Here, you play for your country. There [on the Tour] you represent your country, but are still playing for yourself. The feeling is very different.

“In 2002, I started with a dead rubber [vs. Australia], like Digvijay did. In this tie [vs….

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