India’s tennis veteran Rohan Bopanna set for world No. 1 rank in men’s doubles, after reaching Australian Open semi-final

India’s Rohan Bopanna is set to become the oldest tennis player to achieve the world No. 1 ranking in men’s doubles, after reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open along with his partner Matthew Ebden in Melbourne today. This is the first time Bopanna has reached the Australian Open semis.

Rohan Bopanna
An Instagram post shared on January 24, 2024, by the Rohan Bopanna Tennis Academy and the player himself said: “Rohan Bopanna – the name etched in tennis history. At 43, he conquers the World No. 1 spot and advances to the Australian Open semi-finals, showcasing ageless brilliance and making India proud.” Image courtesy: Instagram/rbtacademy

The 43-year-old Bopanna, who had entered the tournament with a career-high ranking of world No. 3, and Australian Ebden recorded a comfortable 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over sixth seeded Argentinian duo of Máximo González and Andrés Molteni in the quarter-finals. The match lasted 1 hour and 46 minutes.

The second-seeded Indo-Australian pair will cross swords with unseeded Tomas Machac and Zhizhen Zhang in the semi-finals.

Bopanna will be crowned the new numero uno in men’s doubles on Monday after the end of the tournament.

Earlier, Rajeev Ram of the United States was the oldest player to be ranked world No. 1 in men’s doubles. He had achieved the top ranking in October 2022 at the age of 38 for the first time in his career.

While Bopanna is the new No. 1, his partner Ebden is set to become world No. 2 in men’s doubles.

Bopanna is 4th Indian to reach No. 1 in tennis doubles

Bopanna, who became world No. 3 for the first time in 2013, is the fourth Indian tennis player after Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, and Sania Mirza to take the world No. 1 rank in doubles.

He takes over the top position from Austin Krajicek of the USA, who with his Croatian partner Ivan Dodig lost in the second round.

Bopanna had won the mixed doubles title at French Open in 2017 alongside Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski. However, a title has eluded him in men’s doubles, having finished runner-up twice at the US Open — in 2010 with Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Quresh; and in 2023 with Ebden.

In fact, Bopanna’s feat at the US Open last year made him the oldest-ever Grand Slam finalist.

Bopanna is also the oldest player to claim a men’s doubles title at a Masters 1000 event. He did that last year with Ebden, winning the prestigious Indian Wells tournament.