Pune, February 1, 2022: Having kickstarted the season with a title, the star Indian duo of Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan will be eager to add one more to their name in Pune as the second-seeded pair gears up for their campaign at the 2022 Tata Open Maharashtra taking place at the Balewadi Stadium.
The former World No. 3 feels Ramkumar’s energy and passion allows him to play his best tennis and is looking forward to having another great week in Pune.
“I have watched him grow as a player whether it’s in Davis Cup or other tournaments. If there was some advice I could give him, I have always helped him trying to see where he can improve. I got to know him off the court really well and that camaraderie being on the court just helped us really do well,” Bopanna said during a virtual press conference as he gears up for his fourth appearance at the tournament.
Bopanna and Ramkumar clinched the title in Adelaide earlier in January in their maiden outing together and will play against American duo of Jamie Cerretani and Nicholas Monroe in the opening round at the fourth edition of South Asia’s only ATP 250 Tour event, which is organised by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association.
“We both served really well in Adelaide and that’s key for a good successful partnership. I think if Ram and I can serve well, that will always put pressure on the opponents. Every team out there has a fantastic chance to win the title. We just have to focus on our game and take one match at a time,” he further added.
The ace Indian tennis player is delighted to have the prestigious event back this year with its fourth edition and said it’s crucial to have such tournaments to give our players opportunities.
“I’m really excited to be back playing here. It’s unfortunate that fans can’t come out and watch because of the situation. But I think it’s really great that this tournament is conducted this year,” the 2010 US open men's doubles runner-up said.
Further emphasising on the importance of having big tournaments in the country, the veteran doubles player added, “We need ATP events because there are opportunities. I have seen in a lot of tournaments where somebody who’s 150 or 200 gets a chance as a wildcard and gets a breakthrough because ATP events are the ones with bigger points, better opportunity to have a run. For the players, just to understand and watch live tennis, watch top players play, makes a big difference,” he said.
Bopanna, who lifted the doubles title at the tournament’s second edition, playing with Divij Sharan, also cited an example of former Indian star singles player Somdev Devvarman, who emerged runner-up in 2009 at the country’s one of oldest sporting events and saw making impressive progress in his career thereafter.
The 41-year-old experienced campaigner also commented on more participation of singles players in doubles, saying it helps them improve their game in singles. “Lot of singles players play doubles to improve their game. I’m playing with [Denis] Shapovalov, he’s somebody who really enjoys playing doubles. Simultaneously he’s learning so much whether it’s accuracy on returns or volleys which helps him so much in singles,” the Bengaluru native concluded.
The Tata Open Maharashtra is being owned by IMG and operated by RISE Worldwide in India.