French Open Mixed Doubles champion Rohan Bopanna feels he is playing the best tennis of his career at the moment. The 37-year old spoke after winning his first Grand Slam title along with his Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski on the clay of Roland Garros. The Indian also says that he has evolved as a player after year’s of experience and knows how to negotiate pressure situations.
"There is a huge difference what I used to be as a player. I have played close played close matches over the years. I was not so nervous today as compared to 2010 (US Open final). Over the years it has helped me to adapt (quickly) to surfaces. Last two years I have been enjoying a lot playing on clay," Bopanna said.
"I have started to control the points better. I am playing my best tennis. I have matured over the years. I know how to handle those situations better. I have lost close matches, the Wimbledon semis, played the Masters series consistently. There were no nerves and that was a big difference," he said.
Bopanna won his first ever Major title with Gabriela Dabrowski, who became the first Canadian woman to win a Grand Slam trophy.
The last time the Coorgy came close to a Major title was in 2010 when he played the US Open final but had lost to Bryan brothers with Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi.
Bopanna and his partner today saved two match points in the Match tie-breaker.
It took Bopanna 14 years to realise his dream of winning a Grand Slam trophy after turning a Pro and he said it will take some time to realise what he has done.
"I had fantastic past two weeks. It's still sinking in. Maybe when I will be in flight tomorrow, it will sink in."
Asked if this win erases all regrets over getting close to Grand Slam title twice but not winning and also not winning an Olympic medal in Rio, where he and Sania Mirza were a set away from the bronze.
"There was never ever any regret. Past is past, it can't be changed. The only way to look is to look forward and present," he said.
Bopanna said he made adjustments to his game and altered his style to get success on clay, the most demanding surface of all.
"I have been working hard, doing the right things. On clay, I changed the way I play. I was serving and staying back and not just doing serve and volley. Practicing with Pablo Cuevas also helped me get better," the 37-year-old said.
Recalling the crunch moments of the match when they were down by two match points, he said, "I kept telling my partner that we have to keep it in play and she came up with an unbelievable return off Robert.
"It's a big moment for us, more than special. It was a personal goal for me to win a Grand Slam. It's a proud moment more than relief."
(With PTI Inputs)