As the U.S. Open gets underway in New York City this week, fans of Indian tennis will be closely watching doubles player Rohan Bopanna as he chases after another title with partner Édouard Roger-Vasselin of France.
When Bopanna, 38, hits the court on Wednesday, he’ll have a bit of momentum on his side. Alongside Indian doubles partner Divij Sharan, Bopanna won a gold medal at the Asian Games in Indonesia on August 24 when the pair defeated Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik and Denis Yevseyev 6-3, 6-4.
The victory was particularly sweet because it marked both Bopanna and Sharan’s first gold medal at the Asian Games and India’s first tennis gold medal since 2010.
“There’s no way to describe this feeling because there’s never been a gold before, neither of us have won it,” Bopanna said after the match. “Winning the gold medal for the country, you don’t get to do that very often. Divij and I pushed each other hard to get this.”
Prior to this year’s Asian Games, his last medal was a bronze at the 2002 Busan Games.
But as Bopanna competes this week, his trainers and coaches will closely be watching his shoulder for signs of discomfort. After he and Roger-Vasselin withrdrew from a match during Wimbledon’s second round on July 6, they ended up skipping the Rogers Cup and other events this summer as he took time to heal. Both Bopanna and his coaches say he has recovered from the injury.
This is the first season Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin have been paired together in doubles. Also competing on Wednesday is legendary Indian tennis player Leander Paes, who will be playing with American James Cerretani.