Australian Open history-maker shares how Roger Federer treated players in locker room


Australian Open history-maker shares how Roger Federer treated players in locker room
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Rohan Bopanna hailed Roger Federer's impact on tennis and described the Swiss tennis icon as someone who was always down to earth and just a great person to be around. 

Bopanna, who will be turning 44 next month, is pretty much from the same generation as 43-year-old Federer but he is still playing pro tennis. At this past Australian Open, Bopanna made tennis history by winning the men's doubles with Matthew Ebden. 

Now, 43-year-old Bopanna is the oldest man to win a Grand Slam doubles title and also the oldest doubles world No. 1 in tennis history. After his historic Australian Open win, Bopanna was a guest on The Other Side with Dilip, where he paid his tribute to the great Federer, who is widely considered as the best ambassador the game has ever had.

Rohan Bopanna and Clive Brunskill
Rohan Bopanna and Clive Brunskill© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

"I think how he changed the sport, not only on the court but off the court as well. He was somebody who communicated with all the players, and understood them. Even though he was such a great champion, no matter where he met some players, he was always amazing," Bopanna said on The Other Side podcast.

Bopanna recalls playing cricket with Federer at Wimbledon

At The All England Club, Federer is an absolute icon, having won Wimbledon a record eight times. However, that didn't make Federer act anything differently as the Swiss was always more than willing to interact with others and even play cricket with Bopanna.

Rohan Bopanna and Roger Federer
Rohan Bopanna and Roger Federer© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

"There were many times where we were at Wimbledon in the locker room, you know, Roger and I used to play cricket," Bopanna recalled. "I think there were three times we were at the warm-up area with a similar juncture because we were playing matches which were similar times on different courts, and we happened to be there."

Bopanna, who has been among the best doubles players in the world for the past two decades, accomplished the biggest success of his career at 43 as just now he is a Grand Slam men's doubles champion and ranked at No. 1 for the first time in his career. After writing history and achieving two very unique feats, Bopanna said he hopes his result can inspire other to never stop believing. 

Australian Open Roger Federer Rohan Bopanna