India Legend Rohan Bopanna signed off from Davis Cup after a thumping win in doubles alongside Yuki Bhambri at the Mini Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday. The Tennis great bids adieu to a 21-year-long journey at the Davis Cup as fans raise their voices with 'Chak de!'. Bopanna's doubles win helped India seal a 4-1 tie against Morocco to take them into the World Group I play-offs.
Bopanna and his partner Bhambri defeated Morocco's Elliot Benchetrit and Younes Laaroussi in straight sets 6-2 and 6-1in one hour and 11 minutes. The 43-year-old befittingly earned the last point as he played a deft volley close to the nets to find Benchetrit hit the ball in the nets. After this contest, India's top-ranked singles player Sumit Nagal and debutant Digvijay Pratap Singh earned victories to see India win the World Group II tie against Morocco 4-1. With this win, India cruised into the World Group I play-offs.
Bopanna did not get to play at his home in Bengaluru but stated that Lucknow looked like his home on his final swansong at the tournament. "It felt like home today as everyone is here to support me. My family, friends, and even fans, everyone cheered for me. It’s an emotional moment for me, I can’t forget this day ever. It’s been a long and fantastic journey in the Davis Cup after playing my first match in 2002. I always tried to give the best for my country. Playing for India has always been the biggest moment of my career,” Bopanna said after winning the match.
The Indian legend wrapped the tricolour on him and later laid his shirt on the Tennis court. "The time has come when I need to vacate the seat for someone new. There are many youngsters who are ready to grab the spot. For sure, I am going to miss this all, but at the same time it will also allow me to spend quality time with family," he added.
After Bopanna's win, Sumit Nagal defeated Yassine Dlimi 6-3 6-3 in the first reverse singles game to get India to an unassailable 3-1 lead. The tie was sealed when Digvijay won the dead rubber 6-1 5-7 10-6 on his debut against Walid Ahouda