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Rohan Bopanna Stays Busy By Blending Tennis With Passion For Coffee

By Ricky Dimon


Rohan Bopanna is known, of course, as one of the best tennis players in the world. He is a Grand Slam champion (2010 French Open mixed doubles with Gabriel Dabrowski), a U.S. Open finalist (2010 men’s doubles with Aisam ul-Haq Qureshi), and he has been ranked as high as No. 3.


But what you may not know about the Bengaluru, India native is that he loves something else perhaps as much as tennis: coffee.


“The coffee love started way before my tennis started,” Bopanna reflected. “It’ been in the family. We have a coffee plantation in a beautiful place called Coorg in the state of Karnataka (India).”


Bopanna lived at the family estate until he was 14 years old, growing up watching his father tend to the coffee business. Although tennis has required most of his time and has taken him around the world away from his Indian home for at least 10 months of every season, his passion for coffee never wavered. In fact, that only made it stronger–so strong that a couple of years ago he created his own blend for a local Bengaluru coffee company called the Flying Squirrel.


“It thanks to my tennis and now with all the travel which has made me realize the love for great coffee,” he explained. “I truly believe that the South India coffee is really really good and hence came the idea to get into the business. A family friend of mine was already into the business who had founded the company (the Flying Squirrel), so I decided to tie up with them for my very own Master Blend where the beans come straight out from my coffee estate in Coorg.”


So far Bopanna has developed only his Master Blend, but that figures to change whenever he retires from tennis.


“I want to try and get a darker roast out but have not really gotten the time to really sit down and do that currently,” the current doubles world No. 38 noted. “But in the future I will surely have a few more blends. I would surely loved to be very much involved and really see if I can look into it more seriously.”


For now, though, Bopanna is still going strong on the ATP Tour and thus juggling two acts at once. But those acts are not mutually exclusive. He continues to promote coffee to the tennis world and plans to do so to an even greater extent after he is no longer playing.


“Hopefully I’ll get the Flying Squirrel coffee at at few tennis tournaments,” he said. “I feel that would be a great start, because I really believe that the coffee will be loved, for sure.”


Bopanna mentioned Stan Wawrinka, Grigor Dimitrov, as fellow pros who love their coffee. He hopes to get the women of the WTA on board, too.


“They (Wawrinka, Dimitrov, and Others) have all like my coffee and have given me lot of good feedback. I need to start giving the WTA players.”


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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