Bryan brothers back Rohan Bopanna and partner Denis Shapovalov for Grand Slam win

Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov have teamed up since 2019. The duo reached the quarter-finals of both the US Open and the Italian Open.

By Subhayan Dutta

Olympic gold medal-winning tennis doubles pair of Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan believe that Canada’s 21-year-old Denis Shapovalov complements India’s 40-year-old Rohan Bopanna well.

A team since last year, the Indo-Canadian duo of Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov has had an impressive run, winning 15 of their 24 doubles matches across all surfaces.

The Bryan brothers, who recently called time on their career, feel that the blend of youth and experience, despite the players’ different approach to the game, has balanced the pair quite well.

“I think they make a great team,” Mike Bryan told Hindustan Times. “Bopanna has been around for so long, he’s got so much experience. Shapovalov brings a lot of talent and flair.

“It’s just a great contrast of style - having a doubles specialist and a singles guy who can hit all the shots and be really flashy,” Mike Bryan added.

Bryan brothers reckon India’s Rohan Bopanna and Canada’s Denis Shapovalov can win a Grand Slam.

After reaching the round of 16 in the US Open last year, Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov took a step further this time as they ended their 2020 US Open campaign in the quarter-finals. On Friday, the duo bowed out of the Italian Open, also at the last eight stage.

Mike Bryan, however, believes the duo can go all the way to winning a Grand Slam title.

“It’s great to see Rohan still doing so well into his 40s. I think if they stick around together for a while, maybe they can be holding a Grand Slam trophy,” Mike Bryan said.

Rohan Bopanna has won the mixed doubles title at the French Open in 2017. He had partnered Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski at Roland Garros.

The Indian Davis Cupper has also reached the final of the US Open men’s doubles in 2010 with Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, where the Indo-Pak Express went down to the Bryan brothers.

“Rohan’s doing a great job; he’s been one of the legends of doubles and has been carrying the Indian flag really well without Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes now,” Mike Bryan added.

Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov have reached two quarter-finals and a semi-final this year, suggesting that the partnership is strengthening.

And the Bryans feel that Bopanna’s leadership helps nurture the talented but inexperienced Denis Shapovalov.

“You have Rohan with the experience who is leading the team, guiding and helping shape the talent of Shapovalov on the doubles court,” Mike Bryan said.

“They’re very dangerous, they can beat any team on any given day. It is just about putting it together in the big moments,” added the 16-time Grand Slam winner.