I’ll give my best to win over Wawrinka, says Bopanna

Chennai: Indian Davis Cup star Rohan Bopanna on Monday exuded confidence of getting past last year’s finalist Stanislaus Wawrinka in his first round match of the Aircel Chennai Open tennis tournament here on Tuesday.

“Obviously it is going to be a tough match (against Wawrinka) for me. I had played him here last year. But it will be a different day tomorrow and I am looking forward to it,” Bopanna said.

“I will give it my best shot. I did better here during the Davis Cup. Hopefully, I will play in the same way and get a better result,” he added.

Bopanna, however, said playing doubles in the ATP circuit will remain his main priority.

“As regards singles, whichever tournament I can get in I will play. However, doubles will obviously be the priority”, said Bopanna, who partners Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan.

Bopanna knows the competition would be tough but said there target would be to win a major in 2011.

“It always helps playing together, no doubt about that. And as we keep saying, we will play our game, stay positive and there’s no reason as to why we can’t win a major.

“Obviously the teams in the top 10 are more experienced, have won more major titles and are consistent. But I see no reason as to why we can’t achieve the same,” he said.

Speaking on his compatriots Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi regrouping again, Bopanna said he was elated and hoped they will conjure up the same magic which they create during the Davis Cup ties.

“It’s fantastic to have them back together. I have been part of the Indian Davis Cup team for nine years and each year I have been fortunate to see their chemistry on court. It is great for Indian tennis that they are back playing together,” he said.

Bopanna and Qureshi won their first ATP World Tour doubles title in Johannesburg in February last year and the Indian said it proved to be the turning point.

“Winning the title at Johannesburg really changed things a lot for us. It gave us a lot of confidence and we believed we can actually win at the highest level,” he said.

Asked about his commitments in 2011, Qureshi said he would look to strengthen his partnership with Bopanna and win laurels for both the countries.

“I am totally committed to Rohan for the year. We need to show others that doubles is all about partnerships and a combination shouldn’t be broken when the chips are down. The strength of a team is the most important thing in doubles,” he said.

“I hope we can win laurels for both the countries while simultaneously spreading the message of peace. I don’t see any reason why we can’t win grand slams together.

“We played well throughout last year and pretty much beat every team in the top 10. We just have to try and do that on a consistent basis. And Inshallah, we will win our first major together soon,” he added.

Explaining how their success last year helped them to appear in more number of Masters events, Qureshi said, “Our ranking now helps us to play all the nine Masters Series events – we played in just two last year – and this makes a huge difference in terms of points and rankings.”

“We are looking forward to playing in them and the grand slams as well. And Inshallah, we will win our first major title this year. We will take one match at a time in Chennai Open,” he said.


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