Wimbledon: Denis Shapovalov’s Indian connection; getting mentored by doubles partner Rohan Bopanna

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The Indian tennis star has a close relationship with the 22-year-old Canadian tennis player, a friend and doubles partner. It is a strange alliance in a rising top 10 singles player often does not play in doubles, and even if it happens, he selects a player contemporary of him. Bopanna, who has 19 career doubles titles, and 41 does not fit the bill.

So how did it all started? Bopanna wanted a partner to play in the Indian Wells Masters in 2019 and most players appear in doubles in that tournament.

“It all started in the Indian Wells in 2019. I was looking for a partner and you need to combine rankings to get into doubles draw. All the doubles players already had partners so I was checking as to which singles players I can play with. I saw Denis’ name and texted him. He said yes and nice of him. We hit the right notes straightway. Along with my experience, his power, super-fast speed and flamboyance make a fine combination. It helped both of us.”

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Since that tournament, the Bopanna-Shapovalov combo has appeared in 14 events with the latest being the MUTA Open in Barcelona earlier this year.

Shapavalov too was effusive in the praise of Bopanna.

“Playing in the doubles has helped me a lot. I wanted to play with him and I had played with him in Rome as well. It is always awesome. He helped me out in Australia and it is great to play with him and just to get mentored by him. He is such a smart guy, a smart player. It’s great to learn from him,” he had said.

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