World No.1 ranking and a Slam is priority now: Bopanna
New Delhi: Rohan Bopanna is content that the sacrifices he made in his tennis journey paid off as he became world number three but the Indian tennis star's hunger for success has only increased and he now wants to become number one besides notching his first Grand Slam trophy.
Bopanna's career graph has hown a steady rise and in the last two years, he has emerged as a force to reckon with in the doubles arena.
Of his eight titles, six have come in the last three years. Season 2012 was remarkable when he made six finals and won two titles with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi. In 2011 he won all the three finals with Pakistan's Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi.
"Discipline has been a key factor to my success. I have always made sure that I put my game ahead of anything else, sometimes even before friends and family. The journey has definitely not been easy but all the sacrifice has paid off very well in terms of my performance on-court. When you get better at your sport, the sacrifices you've made in that part don't really count," Bopanna told PTI in an interview.
Courtesy his semifinal appearance at the Wimbledon, Bopanna, nicknamed 'Bofors' for his powerful serve, climbed to number three in rankings early this week, behind formidable American twins Mike and Bob Bryan.
"The number one spot is of priority for me. Though there is no catching up to the Bryan Brothers this year, I am working hard to ensure that I reach the number one spot soon.
That ranking is important to me and to get our country up there will certainly be a dream come true," he said.
Bopanna (5335) is realistic in his calculations as the gap between him and the Bryans is a huge 9125 points. Hence his immediate goal is to add that elusive Grand Slam trophy to his eight ATP Tour titles.
He came close to doing that in the 2010 US Open but ended runners-up with Qureshi to Bryan brothers.
"Right now I have my eyes set on a Grand Slam win. Having reached so far, I want to go all the way and win a Grand Slam for the country," he said.