Bhupathi confident of doing well with Bopanna at Aus Open

Mumbai: Veteran India tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi today said he was confident of doing well in the Australian Open, that begins next week, along with new partner Rohan Bopanna.

"It is my 18th season so it is not something new. Beginning of every season is always exciting because in two weeks you are in a Grand Slam. So I am heading to Melbourne and I hope to kick it off well," he said.

Bhupathi has never won the Men`s doubles title at the Australian Open even though he has reached the finals thrice. However, he has clinched the Australian Open Mixed Doubles
titles twice -- with Martina Hingis in 2006 and with Sania Mirza in 2008.

The 37-year-old tennis ace, who along with Bopanna made the semi-finals of the Tata Open held recently in Chennai, said that the duo were slugging it out as much as possible.

"We are just practicing as much as we can and playing as much as one can with their partner," he added.

Bhupathi paired with Bopanna for the first time in Chennai after yet another split with Leander Paes last year.

Bhupathi, who will once again team up with Mirza in the mixed double category, said it will have to be seen how the Hyderabadi`s fitness works out.

"She has come back from surgery again, which is always hard. She is fine. I don`t know how she is feeling but I know she is a little injured. So we have to wait and see how it pans out."

Sania had missed the post US Open season last year due to a knee injury and underwent a surgery in her left knee.