The 40-year-old tennis star is taking part in the ATP 1000 Cincinnati Open.
The ATP tour has returned after 174 days with ATP 1000 Cincinnati Open at New York’s Flushing Meadows and Indian tennis legend Rohan Bopanna is ready to give his best in the tournament.
Cincinnati Open usually takes place in Mason, Ohio but the tournament has been shifted to New York as it falls before the 2020 US Open and will help players to reduce their travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament organizers are taking every precaution and participants are staying inside the bubble setup.
“Of course, the biggest difference will be playing without fans. What now remains is just open space all around. Fan areas are now hospitality zones for players, the centre court suites for fans have now been converted into individual player locker rooms for the top singles guys. With this kind of space, social distancing almost follows naturally. You don’t even have to try too hard,” Rohan Bopanna told ESPN.
The Indian veteran and his Canadian partner Denis Shapovalov will face the fifth seed duo of Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers in their first-round match of the tournament, which will run until 28 August.
A lot of tennis stars have decided not to take part in the US Open, while some have tested for COVID-19 upon their arrival in the US. Japan’s top player Kei Nishikori also tested positive in Florida and withdrew from the Cincinnati Open.
Rohan Bopanna remarked, “We read media reports about how serious the pandemic situation is in the US while the tournament organisers kept assuring that all precautions would be in place. I was unsure about what to do. But then, you know I thought to myself that after five months here’s an opportunity to play. It’s what we train for and what we do for a living. It’s like seeing your job suddenly open up. You want to be there when it happens.”
“The bubble we have here is really strict and apart from the tennis court and hotel you can’t go anywhere,” said Bopanna. “In regular tournaments, I’d go out and explore restaurants but this time it’s just the hotel room, lobby and court. But this has to be done for everyone to be safe.”
After the Cincinnati Open, Rohan Bopanna will participate in US Open (August 31-September 13), followed by the Rome Masters (September 14-21) and the French Open (September 27-October 11).