India’s Rohan Bopanna is set to become the oldest tennis player to achieve the world No. 1 ranking in men’s doubles after reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open along with his partner Matthew Ebden here on January 24.
The 43-year-old, who had entered the tournament with a career-high ranking of world no. 3, and Australian Ebden recorded a comfortable 6-4, 7-6 (5) win over sixth seeded Argentinian duo of Máximo González and Andrés Molteni in the quarterfinals that lasted an hour and 46 minutes here.
The second-seeded Indo-Australian pair will cross swords with unseeded Tomas Machac and Zhizhen Zhang in the semi-finals.
Bopanna will be crowned the new numero uno on January 29 after the end of the tournament.
Earlier, Rajeev Ram of the USA was the oldest player to be ranked world no. 1 when he had achieve the top ranking in October 2022 at the age of 38 for the first time in his career.
Ebden, on the other hand, is set to reach the world no 2.
Bopanna, who had achieved the highest rank was world No. 3 for the first time in 2013, is the fourth Indian after Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza to take the world number one rank in doubles.
He will take over the top position from USA’s Austin Krajicek, who and his Croatian partner Ivan Dodig lost in the second round.
Bopanna won the mixed doubles title at French Open in 2017 alongside Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski. However, a title has eluded him in men’s doubles, having finished runner-up twice at the U.S. Open in 2010 with Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Quresh and 2023 with Ebden.
In fact, Bopanna’s feat at the U.S. Open last year made him the oldest-ever Grand Slam finalist.
Bopanna is also the oldest player to claim a men’s doubles title at a Masters 1000 event. He achieved the feat last year at the age of 43 with Ebden, winning the prestigious Indian Wells tournament.