Yesterday, they took out defending champions Jack Sock and John Isner. Today, 43-year-old Rohan Bopanna and Matt Ebden put the cherry on top of a dream run, defeating World No.1 Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski for the BNP Paribas Open men’s doubles title, 6-3, 2-6, 10-8.
The victory marks Bopanna and Ebden’s first Masters 1000 title as a team, and their second in their first season as a pairing.
Bopanna, who turned 43 on March 4, becomes the oldest man to ever win a Masters 1000 doubles title. He is the first Indian man to claim the BNP Paribas Open doubles title since legend Leander Paes in 2007.
“I’d like thank my partner,” Bopanna told the crowd after claiming the title. “It’s his first Masters title, and it’s my first Masters here at Indian Wells. It’s a big moment. Every year we keep coming back and I pass the locker room near the restaurant and I see the champion’s pictures on the wall. It’s been 12 years since I first played the semifinal, so I’m glad that I finally got through.”
After splitting the first two sets, Ebden and Bopanna lost the first point of the champion’s tiebreak to the comeback-minded World No.1s. They bounced back immediately, claiming the next two points, and never trailed from that point on, converting their second championship point after one hour and 25 minutes.
What a match. What a reaction.
Congratulations to our men's doubles champs @mattebden and @rohanbopanna!#TennisParadise pic.twitter.com/HO0wk5etHw
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 19, 2023
“Amazing tournament form you guys,” Skupski told his rivals. “Beating reigning champions Isner and Sock yesterday, you played great – Rohan, amazing serving.”
35-year-old Australian Ebden captures his first Masters 1000 title and his ninth overall; Bopanna earns his fifth Masters title and his 24th ATP title overall.