Ramesh Krishnan thread

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Rajiv
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Re: Ramesh Krishnan thread

Postby Rajiv » Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:06 pm

This is probably the only match of Ramesh Krishnan available on You Tube
It is the 1987 Davis Cup Final against Mats Wilander ,and what makes it a connosuire delight is the wonderful display of silken smooth touch tennis which is now extinct . Even though the result and the tie was not in our favour this clip gives an rare insight on what prodigal talent Ramesh was and the way he played percentage tennis which we will never get to see from any of the present day generation

Even though Ramesh lost this match in straight sets a year later at the Australian Open Ramesh caused the biggest upset when he took out the same Wilander who was the reigning World # 1

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=txk9V7UeYLg

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Re: Ramesh Krishnan thread

Postby PKBasu » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:37 pm

Thanks for posting these rare videos, Rajiv. The Swedes knew that Ramesh had troubled Wilander and Edberg in the past -- and had Joakim Nystrom's number, beating him frequently. So they carefully selected an indoor clay court that would blunt Ramesh's game completely -- and succeeded in complete measure. The place was also very cold -- as can be seen from Ramesh wearing almost a coat during the warm-up period! The 5-0 result was a sad end to a great Davis Cup campaign (including the stirring win over Argentina that both Rajiv and I witnessed live at the DLTA, and the triumph over Australia in Australia), but the choice of venue almost pre-ordained it.

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Re: Ramesh Krishnan thread

Postby PKBasu » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:30 pm

People in the stands always used to say that Ramesh made them feel that they too could compete against the best -- since he seemed to be playing the typical club players' game. But this was an illusion: he had incredible skills, the most under-rated of which was his impeccable volleying (very much on display here). He would set up a point, and finish it with an attacking shot that would be sizzlingly hard, well-placed and unreturnable. Just a joy to watch, even if this is one of his bad matches. Loved the amount he volleyed on a clay court, though.

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Re: Ramesh Krishnan thread

Postby Prashant » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:32 pm

Rajiv wrote:Even though Ramesh lost this match in straight sets a year later at the Australian Open Ramesh caused the biggest upset when he took out the same Wilander who was the reigning World # 1


Wilander was not just World #1, he had won 3 of the 4 Slams in 1988 - all but Wimbledon - when Ramesh upset him at the 1989 Australian Open. But there were some mitigating factors - Wilander had perhaps partied a bit too much after his successful season, and was taken to five very tough sets by some unknown fellow Swede in R1. Then Ramesh beat him in R2, but lost in four to Mexican Leonardo Lavalle in the next round, a player that he really should have beaten.

This belongs in a different thread, but until the advent of Federer & Nadal, Wilander was probably the most surface diverse tennis star ever - always a threat on any of grass/clay/hard.

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Re: Ramesh Krishnan thread

Postby Rajiv » Wed Oct 07, 2015 3:38 pm

Well said PKB as surely the same thought would come to ones mind, After watching even I felt the same surely I can hit the ball harder than him and definitely @ 150,160 can easily serve faster than him , but then that's where the illusion ended , he could bamboozled the top guys with exceptional precision and an uncanny ability to take the ball early and cut and create impossible angles was more of artist than an athlete , and aptly called the surgeon by fellow pros on the tour
Another interesting part was that by early 80's the entire tour players had changed to composite racquets and for atleast 2 years McEnroe and Ramesh were the only pros on the circuit playing with a wooden Dunlop MaxPly raquet
Ram is eloquent in his praise and respect for RK whenever he has played with him in Chennai as even today he says the backhand is still so crisp and sublime and hard to find even amongst the present days pros

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Re: Ramesh Krishnan thread

Postby PKBasu » Thu Oct 08, 2015 5:36 am

Prashant wrote:
This belongs in a different thread, but until the advent of Federer & Nadal, Wilander was probably the most surface diverse tennis star ever - always a threat on any of grass/clay/hard.


True of Wilander, except on grass. He really never was a serious threat at Wimbledon -- although superb on clay, excellent on hard courts and very good indoors. Lendl was similar.
Ramesh actually was really good on all surfaces, but clay was a slight weakness.

Rajiv, nice little nugget about Ram (RamK I presume) playing with Ramesh these days. I don't know if Ramesh ever fully adapted his game to the new racquets, which have really altered tennis completely.

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Re: Ramesh Krishnan thread

Postby Rajiv » Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:28 am

PKBasu wrote:
Prashant wrote:
This belongs in a different thread, but until the advent of Federer & Nadal, Wilander was probably the most surface diverse tennis star ever - always a threat on any of grass/clay/hard.


True of Wilander, except on grass. He really never was a serious threat at Wimbledon -- although superb on clay, excellent on hard courts and very good indoors. Lendl was similar.


True , Wilander was never an accomplished all court player and grass was definately his Achilles heel , probably it could be influenced by his couple of titles as a Australian Open Champion on grass , But than even Lendl won the title on the same Kooyong grass courts , so was Lendl adapt at grass play and could be called a grass court player , no definitely not , the Australian grass was totally different , it was hard sun-baked grass behaving more like hard courts rather than the true European Grass.

PKB , I feel the he did adapt to the new graphite racquet _ Dunlop Black Max quite well as his best results came after he made the switch , and infact reached his career high of 23 using that racquet and guess who played with the same model , McEnroe of course.
What is interesting to note that in the present days , all the past veterans use new modern present day racquets , but on Vijay's twitter handle I saw a picture taken in July this year where he played a game with Ramesh and Ramesh was still playing with a 30 year old technology Dunlop Black Max.

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Re: Ramesh Krishnan thread

Postby prasen9 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:31 am

Ivan Lendl was a two-time runner-up at Wimbledon. He was certainly not a "grass-court player" nowhere near the all-time greats on grass, but, towards the latter part of his career when he started taking grass seriously. At that point, he was better than most of his contemporaries on grass even though he did not win Wimbledon. Sort of like Nadal, except that Nadal managed to go all the way.

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Re: Ramesh Krishnan thread

Postby Tolamu » Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:35 am

Isn't Lendl the bloke who said grass is for the cows?

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Re: Ramesh Krishnan thread

Postby prasen9 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:04 am

Yes. But apart from the two runners-up, he reached the semis of Wimbledon five more years. So, his solid ground game carried him quite far on grass, at least more than a handful of his contemporaries.

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Re: Ramesh Krishnan thread

Postby Prashant » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:28 pm

Lendl was definitely no mug on grass. And Wilander won two Australian Opens on grass (yes a harder court than Wimbledon, but still one that required solid grass court skills).

Back to Ramesh - I wonder what his schedule was like. Did he play a "full" schedule? How many weeks a year was he playing on average during his best years? I ask because my memory of his career consists of a few highlights like the ones we've been discussing. But I was too young, and too handicapped by poor newspaper coverage, to really follow his career week by week.

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Re: Ramesh Krishnan thread

Postby prasen9 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:56 pm

You can find his record here: Activity If I recall correctly, he played a full schedule but may be a bit fewer matches than some of the others.

Will we ever see another Indian at the QF of Wimbledon in my lifetime?

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Re: Ramesh Krishnan thread

Postby gbelday » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:11 pm

prasen9 wrote:You can find his record here: Activity If I recall correctly, he played a full schedule but may be a bit fewer matches than some of the others.

Will we ever see another Indian at the QF of Wimbledon in my lifetime?


The grass courts at Wimbledon play a lot slower than they did in the past. Also, there are hardly any grass courts in India now. Maybe Sumit can (he won the junior doubles title there and has pretty decent skills at the net). Most of his training however seems to be on red clay.

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Re: Ramesh Krishnan thread

Postby PKBasu » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:24 pm

Ramesh definitely played a full schedule on tour, right from the time he was 19 years old. He was a thorough professional. I remember him winning at least one match week in and week out: I used to follow him regularly through the Indian newspapers, which regularly reported on ATP tournaments that Indians were playing in. We have quite a lot of detail in the earlier pages of this thread, so I won't go over it again. Towards the latter part of his career, he began to play the occasional Challenger, mixed in with tour events. In 1993, he was in semi-retirement but made sure he played a tournament before each of the Davis Cup ties. Just before the Switzerland match in Calcutta (where I saw him beat Hlasek to pulp), he played at Key Biscayne (then known as the Fifth Slam) and made R3 (losing to Stich). Just before the France tie, he played at Basle, beating the French #1 Cedric Pioline in R1. And before the match against Australia (SF), he played the US Open qualifiers (which I watched too!).

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Re: Ramesh Krishnan thread

Postby PKBasu » Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:13 am

It is rare to have an Indian ranked #1 in the world, but Ramesh was ranked #1 in the Singles Race rankings at the end of the first and second weeks of the tour in 1988. That year, he won the Wellington title in the first week of the year, beating the Kiwi #1 Kelly Evernden (#36 at the time) in the semifinal, and in the final he beat Andrei Chesnokov (who moved into the top-20 a couple of months later, and rose to top-10 a year or so later). The following week, Ramesh made the final in Wellington -- beating #67 Benhabiles, #57 Schiepers, #27 Lundgren and #45 Pugh (before losing the final to #26 Mansdorf, a player who he usually beat, including in the Davis Cup the previous year).

In those days, the "Singles Race" ranking was called the WCT ranking (because the WCT ran most of the tournaments, although the ATP ran the Slams and several others), so I remember Ramesh still ranked as #1 going into the Ebel US Pro Indoor in Philadelphia (where I saw him play at close quarters, as I was studying there at the time). Ramesh had of course made the QF of the US Open singles a few months earlier.

That year, Ramesh made the last-16 (PQF) of the Fifth Slam at Key Biscayne (beating #14 Martin Jaite in R3) and at Queen's -- and then the final at Bristol the following week, and another final at Rye Brook, NY, just before the US Open. He didn't play at all after the US Open that year (suggesting an injury), although he did pull off the biggest win of his career at the next AO, beating the world #1 and 3-Slam holder Mats Wilander in Jan 1989 (having lost in R1 at Wellington that year, but won the title in Auckland by avenging the previous year's final loss to Mansdorf).

What a pity there was no Chennai Open during Ramesh's heyday. The old Indian Open (played in Delhi in 1973, Calcutta in 1974 and '75, Bangalore in 1976) ended around 1978, while Ramesh was still playing junior tennis; in 1978 (at age 17), Ramesh made the singles QF of the Indian Open (in Calcutta), having also previously made the SF of an ATP tournament in Hong Kong, and won a round at the Manila ATP tournament; he played R1 of the Australian Open at 17, but lost in 4 sets. Had India had an ATP tournament during his time, he would have won it several times and had an even more impressive ranking history. As it is, he was ranked in the top-100 in singles for 10 consecutive years and top-50 for six consecutive years.


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