- Won the national senior title eight years on the row
- First Asian to win the Wimbledon junior Singles title
- World No.3 tennis player in 1960
- Reached the semifinals of Wimbledon in 1960 and 1961
In the early 19th century, when lawn tennis was
introduced to the Indian masses, the game was dominated by the British,
the inventors of the game. Most of the national titles were won by
foreign players, largely due to the fact that Indian talent was
undiscovered. During the time, the English tennis players dominated the
game. Soon after, Indian players started featuring in the game,
extensively. They made India's presence felt at the national level. One
among the trendsetters, who popularized lawn tennis among the Indians,
is Ramanathan Krishnan. He was one among the world's leading tennis
players in the 1950s and 1960s.
Krishnan learned the skills and nuances of tennis from his father - T.K.
Ramanathan. After acquiring the skills, Krishnan soon went on to make
it big at the national level. He swept all the junior titles at the
national circuit, thus emerging as a promising player. In 1954,
Ramanathan Krishnan received international accolade, when he became the
first Asian player to win the boy's singles title at Wimbledon by
defeating Ashley Cooper in the final. In 1960, he made it to the
semi-finals of the men's singles competition at Wimbledon. However, he
was defeated by Neale Fraser at the event. Nonetheless, Ramanathan
reached the Wimbledon semi-finals once again, in the following year.
In 1960, Ramanathan Krishnan was ranked World No.3 tennis player, for
the delivery of outstanding performances in a consistent manner. He
regularly featured on the Indian Davis Cup team between 1953 and 1975.
Due to his remarkable performance at the national level, he was included
in the Indian team, to play at the 1966 Davis Cup. The team reached the
finals. Ramanathan Krishnan received nationwide accolade for winning
the Indian national tennis titles for eight years at a row. Today, even
though he has taken retirement from the game, he is remembered for his
scintillating performances and the contribution in making tennis in
India stand equivalent to other countries at the international stage.
Vijay Amritraj, born on December 14, 1953, kept the Indian flag flying
high, with his notable performances at the international tennis circuit.
Amritraj, along with the father-son duo of Ramanathan and Ramesh
Krishnan, is among the handful of Indians to have fared reasonably well
in Grand Slam tournaments. Throughout his glorious career, Amritraj
distinguished himself by getting the better of some of the greatest
names of tennis history. Stalwarts like Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Ivan
Lendl, John McEnroe and Newcombe fell before his aggressive serve and
Vijay Amritraj achieved his first significant success in his career in
tennis in 1973, when he made it to the quarter-finals at the two Grand
Slam Men's Singles events. In 1973, he reached the quarterfinal of
Wimbledon, but lost to eventual champion Jan Kodes, in a thrilling
five-setter. The same year, in the U.S. Open, he lost the quarterfinal
clash to tennis great Ken Rosewall after getting the better of Rod Laver
in an earlier round. Amritraj repeated his feat in 1974, when he
finished eighth after defeating Bjorn Borg in the second round at Forest
In 1974, Vijay Amritraj teamed up with Shashi Menon, Jasjit Singh and
brother Anand Amritraj, to take India to the Davis Cup final for the
second time. However, India refused to play South Africa in protest of
the racist regime prevailing there. Vijay reached his career-high
ranking in July 1980, when he was ranked World No. 16 tennis player. In
1981, Vijay Amritraj again reached the quarterfinal of Wimbledon, but a
spirited Jimmy Connors rallied from a two-set deficit, to get the better
of the Indian great. Amritraj had an equally impressive Davis Cup
record. Ramesh Krishnan
- Won the junior Wimbledon championship in 1979
- Ranked number 1 junior in the world
- Reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon and US Open
- Padma Shri Award in 1998
Son of Indian tennis legend
Ramanathan Krishnan, Ramesh Krishnan was born on 5 June 1961 in Chennai.
Ramesh, like his illustrious father, fetched India laurels in the
international circuit. Ramesh retired from professional tennis in 1993.
Currently, he is running a tennis academy in Chennai, for sharpening the
skills of budding tennis players.
Ramesh Krishnan started his career in tennis as a junior player, in the
late 1970s, when he bagged the boy's Singles titles at both Wimbledon
and the French Open. In the following decade, he made it to three Grand
Slam quarter-finals. Ramesh emulated his father, when he won the junior
Wimbledon championship in 1979. He followed it, with the junior French
title. He was ranked number 1 junior in the world. At the senior level,
Ramesh made it to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon (1986) and US Open
(1981, 1987). For the consistent performance at the ATP tour, Ramesh
achieved a career-high singles ranking of World No. 23 in January 1985.
Ramesh Krishnan became a part of the Indian tennis team in 1987, which
reached the Davis Cup final of the year. Krishnan's Davis Cup record was
equally noteworthy. He played a crucial role in steering India to the
Davis Cup finals for the third time in 1987, by defeating a much more
experienced Wally Masur of Australia in straight sets in the decisive
rubber. In 1989, Ramesh defeated the then World No.1 Mats Wilander in
the second round of the Australian Open. In the 1992 Barcelona Olympic
Games, Ramesh reached the men's doubles quarter-finals, partnering with
- Won the 1990 Wimbledon Junior title
- Won the Wimbledon and the French Open Doubles title in 1999
- Bronze medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics
- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1996
- Carried the tricolor at the 2000 Sydney Olympics opening
- Padma Shri Award in 2001
Leander Paes has scripted many
memorable triumphs, both at the national and international levels. The
Wimbledon Junior title and US Open Champion has brought laurels to the
country, in his career spanning over a decade. In the past, he paired
with another veteran Indian player - Mahesh Bhupathi - to deliver some
enthralling performances. Paes is the inspiration to the young Indian
tennis players. He is one of the most successful professional Indian
tennis players, known worldwide for his amazing achievements and the
never-say-die attitude that he maintains, while on the tennis court.
Right from his early entry to tennis, Leander Paes proved to be a
promising player. He won titles at the Junior US Open and the Junior
Wimbledon, thus making the promise even stronger. Thereafter, he decided
to take up tennis as his profession and turned into a professional
tennis player in 1991. He shot into limelight, when he was ranked the
World No.1 player in junior rankings. In the following year, he made it
to the quarter finals of the doubles match in the 1992 Barcelona
Olympics, by pairing with veteran tennis player Ramesh Krishnan.
Success In Career
Paes continued to perform outstandingly, as the time passed by. In 1996,
he represented India at the Atlanta Olympics and won bronze medal, thus
becoming the Indian tennis player, next to KD Jadhav, to win an
individual Olympic medal for India. The scintillating performance
fetched Paes the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1996.
Thereafter, Paes partnered with Mahesh Bhupathi to add to the tally of
his titles. The Paes-Bhupathi combination proved a reward for the Indian
tennis, as the duo brought a number of titles to the homeland. They
entered the semi-finals of the US Open in 1997.
The doubles team of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi continued to
dominate a number of tennis tournaments. One of the notable achievements
of Paes-Bhupathi pair was the entry to the semi-finals of three Grand
Slams - the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open - in 1998.
The duo created a record, by reaching the finals of all the four Grand
Slams, in 1999. By winning the French Open and the Wimbledon,
Paes-Bhupathi team became the first Indian pair to have won a doubles
event at a Grand Slam tournament.
Apart from pairing with Mahesh Bhupathi, Paes has teamed up with Lisa
Raymond to win the Mixed doubles event at Wimbledon in 1999. In the
following year, he paired with Sbastien Lareau for the Australian Open
and Jan Siemerink for the French Open. However, in both the events, they
were defeated in the first round itself. Paes partnered with Bhupathi
for the US Open, which fetched defeat in the very first round. Despite
of wining the French Open in 2001, the Paes-Bhupathi duo lost in the
first round in the other three Grand Slams of the year. Paes picked up
pace in 2003, when he won Wimbledon and Australian Open mixed doubles
crowns with Martina Navratilova.
In the following years, Leander Paes put more focus on his doubles and
mixed doubles game. He featured at many Mixed Doubles events, where he
registered wins and tasted defeat too. After failing at the semi final
stage of doubles event at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games (when he paired
with Bhupathi), Paes emerged victorious at the US Open doubles event in
2006. He was chosen the captain of the Indian tennis team at the Doha
Asian Games in 2006, in which, he won two gold medals in the Men's
Doubles event (teaming Mahesh Bhupathi) and Mixed Doubles.
Leander Paes continues to be one of the promising Indian tennis players.
He was ranked among the top 20 players in the world doubles ranking in
2005 and maintained the position until 2007. He has taken his doubles
tally to a whopping 38 times, as per recorded in May 2007. Although he
had a split with his compatriot Bhupathi, the duo teamed up again at the
2008 Beijing Olympics. By teaming with Cara Black, Leander Paes won the
US Open Mixed Doubles title in 2008. Although he is towards the end of
his career, Paes continues to maintain his charm and authoritativeness,
whenever he is on the tennis court.
- Became the first Indian to win a Grand Slam by winning the
French Open Mixed Doubles title in 1997
- Won the Wimbledon and French Open Doubles Title in 1999
- Won US Open Mixed Doubles in 1999
- Won Australian Open Mixed Doubles in 2006
- Padma Shri Award in 2001
Born on 7
June 1974 in Chennai, India, he is a rarity in the Indian sporting
scenario. In a career spanning for more than a decade, Bhupathi has
delivered some amazing performances. He has teamed up with Leander Paes
to dominate the Men's Doubles, for quite a long time. Bhupathi is among
the best doubles tennis players in the world. Apart from contributing as
a team, Bhupathi has proved his dexterity in tennis by winning a number
of Singles titles too.
Mahesh Bhupathi became a professional tennis player in 1995. He paired
up with Leander Paes, the combination which has worked wonders for the
Indian tennis. The pair won six ATP Doubles titles in 1997. Bhupathi,
along with Paes, won three doubles titles, including French Open and
Wimbledon, in 1999. He and Paes became the first Indian team to enter
the finals of all the four Grand Slams in the same year, since 1952.
Bhupathi won four doubles titles by teaming up with Paes in 2001.
In 2002, Bhupathi paired with Max Mirnyi and went on to grab the US Open
Doubles title. In the same year, Bhupathi was conferred with Padma
Shri, one of the highest civilian awards, for his excellence in tennis.
In 2002, he partnered with Max Mirnyi and won the US Open Doubles title.
In the same year, he grabbled the third Grand Slam Mixed Doubles title
at Wimbledon, with Elena Likhovtseva. Bhupathi once again paired with
Mirnyi in 2003, when the team reached the finals of Wimbledon Doubles.
In 2004, he acquired the position among the top 10 Doubles players for
the fourth successive year and sixth time in seven years.
Bhupathi teamed up with Paes to play at six more events. The pair played
at Davis Cup, secured two ties and then paired to represent India at
the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, wherein they managed to reach the
semi-finals. Two years later, Bhupathi, along with Martina Hingis,
defeated the team of Daniel Nestor and Elena Likhovtseva in the
Australian Open Mixed Doubles event.
Edited by pogo - 29 May 2010 at 2:21am