US Open

Bopanna Hailed For Memorable Act Of Sportsmanship

Indian shows high character during US Open final defeat
September 08, 2023
Rohan Bopanna celebrates his second men's doubles runner-up finish at the US Open.
Al Bello/Getty Images
Rohan Bopanna celebrates his second men's doubles runner-up finish at the US Open. By ATP Staff

Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden fell short in the US Open men’s doubles final on Friday against Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, but Bopanna earned plenty of respect for a memorable act of sportsmanship.

At 2-4 in the final set, Ebden hit a cross-court forehand that grazed the Indian’s right arm before it crossed the net and continued on for a winner. The chair umpire did not notice the touch, but Bopanna called it on himself, forfeiting the point.

“When Matt hit that forehand cross-court, the ball hit my elbow. I don't think anybody really saw it, So I claimed it on myself,” Bopanna said. “That's the person I have been through my career, and I really feel if something — it doesn't matter what the scoreline or what the occasion of the match is — if something was not right, it was not right.

"Straightaway I went and told the referee that the ball had touched. I think she was confused too at what is happening.”

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Ebden added: “The only one in the stadium who saw it hit you was me. Because I was right behind you, so I saw it deviate off you slightly.”

During the trophy ceremony after the match, Ram made a point of calling out Bopanna’s sportsmanship.

“Rohan and I are real close and that act of sportsmanship today, what he did out on the court. We have been playing for the better part of 20, 25 years on Tour together and I have never seen anything like that,” Ram said. “Especially in a moment like that because we would have had no idea. It just shows what kind of guy he is and how deserving he is to at this point in his career playing for these kinds of titles. You are an inspiration to all of us.”

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