Rohan Bopanna gets lighter, fitter after sweaty days in chilly Hyderabad

Rohan BopannaSomdev Devvarman (L) and Rohan Bopanna at a training session in Hyderabad (IE Photo)

Reunited with his old partner Aisam Qureshi, Rohan Bopanna hopes to be at his best for the season ahead. That's the reason, he thinks, that the timing of a month-long boot camp he attended at Hyderabad recently, couldn't have been better.

The idea of India's top players training together was first floated by Somdev Devvarman. With his coach Scott Davidoff also around, he wanted everyone to gain from the experience. Bopanna, while saying that the training was punishing, confesses that he certainly helped him to enrich his endurance. "On the first day, when I was told to run 800m by the coach, I thought, 'damn, this is going to be tough.' And it was very tough," Bopanna says. "For the first few days, I was looking like a zombie. And for some reason, Scott always paired me with Somdev. He being a singles player is used to these drills so it became harder for me," he said.

Bopanna cannot recall the last times he was clocked over 100m and 800m. But what he distinctly remembers is the fact that he sweated bucket loads after the track drills despite the chill in Hyderabad. To break the monotony of track training and tennis, the players, at times, would divide themselves in teams for an exhaustive round of beach volleyball. "I have never felt so fit," he says. "Since I'm a doubles player, I used to neglect track training. I am training harder as I've realised that as I get older, my body isn't going to be able to cope up with the strain," the 34-year-old adds.

Bopanna is not the only one to gain from this camp. Others like Sriram Balaji, Divij Sharan, Purav Raja and Saketh Myneni, who are finding their feet on the tour, too seem to have benefitted.

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