India's leading doubles player Rohan Bopanna today revealed that he will team up with world number 26 Edouard Roger-Vaseline for the 2018 season since the Frenchman is focused only on doubles, unlike Pablo Cuevas.
"One of the reasons for choosing Vaseline is that he is fully focused on doubles. Pablo focused more on singles events. That is when I decided to hunt for someone who only plays doubles. And that is how, I have partnered Vaseline from next season," Bopanna told reporters.
The 36-year-old Indian, ranked 18 in the world, had paired with Uruguayan Cuevas last year.
The honour was bestowed in recognition of his mixed doubles Grand Slam victory at French Open this year.
Bopanna had lifted his maiden Major title with Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski.
"It always helps if you have a partner whom you have partnered earlier. I and Vaseline played together for a brief period. Vaseline is good at returns which gives me a chance to play my aggressive style of tennis," he said.
On Davis Cup trial two-day best-of-three set matches for in Group I, Bopanna said it is likely to work in India's favour.
"Nobody has played two-day best-of-three set matches. We have to really balance out our team. I think the advantage of having one more member on the team gives us a little more breathing space," he said.
Replying to a query, Bopanna said he would take a call on playing Asian Games or Grand Slams, depending on his partnership with Vaseline.
Replying to a query, Bopanna said "when Roger Federer can play at 36, why cannot he play doubles at 37? I don't think age is really a challenge."
"However, the key factor for the past few years has been, my physio travels with me. That makes a lot of difference. If I am fit and playing at the highest level, why shouldn't I be fit enough to make it to Tokyo Olympic," he said.
Bopanna urged various states to organise tournaments.
"ATP Challengers and Futures events played in India play a very important role in grooming players because they are exposed to world class tennis," he said.
Playing before the home crowd also gives added advantage to the Indian players with fans giving them moral support.
"For the first time, we got to see two Indians battling out for an ATP Challengers title. This is also is an advantage. Yuki Bhambri has a good chance of getting into top 100 in the world ranking," he added.