Playing the ATP Finals in Italy, Rohan Bopanna feels that the team will get a lot of posiive energy in IND vs NZ World Cup semis from 1.4 billion people.
Cricket goes hand-in-hand with other sports in India, and as the nation gears up IND vs NZ World Cup semis, so does tennis star Rohan Bopanna, who is appearing in the ATP Finals 2023. While Team India looks to make history on Wednesday, so does Bopanna, as he is playing his fourth ATP final overall. But his heart lies thousands of kilometers back home, supporting Team India.
“I am following it, of course,” Bopanna told ATPTour.com. “I love cricket. Unfortunately, I have not been able to watch it, because Italy right now is not really showing the cricket, unless I try and find a stream online or something!”
“I think the way India is playing this year, it’s really looking extremely good in World Cup semis. I think, overall, [the whole team] is performing. It’s not just that one or two players are doing well. The bowlers, the batsmen, everybody is coming together as a team, and I think we’ve got some fantastic home support.”
Rohan Bopanna went on to say that he knows most of the players personally and there is a lot of mutual respect between all.
“I’ve met [Kohli] a couple of times, and most of the cricket guys, apart from those who have just come in the team,” said Bopanna. “Even the guys who have retired, starting from [Rahul] Dravid and Sachin [Tendulkar], [Mahendra Singh] Dhoni, all these guys. Once they had a football match with some cricketers and other sportsmen mixed against some Bollywood celebrities, so it was fun. We got to meet everybody.
“Sachin also came to watch my match at Wimbledon this year, so it’s nice. We’re just a handful of sportsmen across the country who represent India at a global level, so I think everybody respects each other.”
Asked if Team India in the IND vs NZ semis, or he in the ATP Finals would be facing any pressure of 1.4 billion people, he said, “I take it as a great positive energy, that you’re not just playing for yourself, you’re playing for so many people out there. It’s a great opportunity to inspire so many people [at this] juncture of their lives.”
“2015 is the last time there was Indian representation at the ATP Finals,” he said. “After that there hasn’t been someone for such a long time. I take it as a great challenge. I think similarly the cricketers do as well. Everybody feels the pressure, but I think it’s beautiful just to take that energy, because that support is nothing like anything you can witness anywhere else.”