Former Grand Slam champion Rohan Bopanna in a recent interview spoke about his love for Pune, where he was present for The Maharashtra Open. He also spoke about partnering Sania Mirza and what role she has played to promote tennis amongst girls of the country.
“I have wonderful memories of the city. I was in Pune between 1994 and 1999 for my tennis training and spent a lot of time at the Deccan Gymkhana. Post practice, we would come to Hotel Vaishali with my friends,” Bopanna said.
He spoke about how the tennis scenario in India has not changed. “We are competing against the Europeans and Americans who have 25 to 30 ATP tournaments happening every year in their regions. In comparison, India has a handful ATP tournaments for players who will probably represent the country at international tournaments.
A lot more can be done in terms of infrastructure and more tournaments in the country,” he said. He compared the tennis scenario with cricket, highlighting how the latter has evolved over the years. “We have a cricket tournament every other month.
There are proper facilities and tournaments in place to train aspiring cricketers from a young age. Similar things are needed for other sports as well. Sportspersons are ready to give it their all for the country,” he added.
Speaking about fellow Indian Sania Mirza, Bopanna spoke about how inspiring she has been. Sania is an inspiration for women in our country. At the Rio Olympics, Sania and I came close to a winning but couldn’t. We were supposed to team up for the Australian Open but she had to pull out at the last minute due to an injury.
The plan is to play with her at Tokyo 2020 and I am looking forward to it”. His views on the Tokyo Olympics this year, he said, “Never say never. I have started a sports academy in Bangalore and I will invest more time in that. Also, coffee is my second love and I want to take Indian coffee to a global level”.