Over 15 years since turning pro, at 38 years of age, the 2017 French Open Mixed Doubles Champion Rohan Bopanna is finally decorated with the prestigious Arjuna Award.
India's tennis star wasn't available to collect the award and the cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh at the President Bhawan since he is currently playing the ATP Chengdu Open partnering fellow countryman N. Sriram Balaji. While he wasn't present at the award function, the Indian celebrated the honour with a win over second seeded pair of J. Peralta and H. Zeballos in the opening round.
“The Arjuna Award means a lot to me, it’s good to be appreciated for a sport you have been playing for so long," said the highest ranked Indian Men's Doubles player.
The top-ranked Indian has reached a career high ranking of World No. 3 back in 2013. He has been a regular member of India's Davis Cup squad since 2002 and represented the country at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
The 2018 Asian Games gold-medalist now aims to qualify for the year-ending ATP Finals where only the top-eight seeded pairs can make the cut. He will be playing two ATP Masters and two ATP 500s with his regular Doubles partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin in Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna and Paris.
The pair is currently ranked 14th in the race to London and thus stand a chance to book a spot in the top 8 pairs that will qualify for the Final.