Ramanathan Krishnan Thread

All posts regarding past greats should be made under this heading.

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Ramanathan Krishnan Thread

Postby gvhvhg » Sat Mar 05, 2005 9:34 pm

Hey if we are going to have specific threads in this forum section we have to have a thread for our greatest player of all time. Im in a rush right now so I don't have time for career details, PKB is good at that :wink: ...No but if no one else does it I will surely do so later.

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Ramanathan Krishnan Thread

Postby PKBasu » Sat Mar 05, 2005 11:18 pm

Ramanathan Krishnan is certainly the greatest tennis player India has produced. Twice a semi-finalist at Wimbledon, the winner of a total of 58 titles (including Queen's Club, the pre-Wimbledon event), he was probably prevented (by an ankle injury in R3) from winning Wimbledon (or at least making the final) in 1962. Krish also made the doubles quarter-final at Wimbledon four times (once each with Naresh Kumar in 1955 and Jaideep Mukherjea in 1967, and with foreign partners in 1959 and 1965).
Ramanathan Krishnan won the junior Wimbledon singles title in 1954, but the man he beat (Ashley Cooper of Australia) eventually went onto win the men's singles title in 1958. That year, Krish caused a sensation by beating former champion Jaroslav Drobny in the first round. The following year (1959), Alex Olmedo won the men's singles, but his toughest match was his R3 encounter against Krish which went to five sets. That performance earned Ramanathan Krishnan the seventh seeding the following year (1960), and he made the semi-final (where he lost to eventual champion Neal Fraser). He was seeded fifth in 1961, and made the semi-final again, losing this time to eventual champion Rod Laver.

Krish also won 50 singles matches for India in the Davis Cup, still a record. He had major DC singles victories over Tony Mottram of Britain (1955), Rod Laver (1959, in an away tie), Chuck McKinley and Whitney Reed of the US (both in 1961), Juan Gisbert of Spain (1965, in Spain), Wilhelm Bungert of Germany (1966), J Mandarino and, especially, Tomas Koch of Brazil (1966 Interzonal final), Inge Buding of Germany (1968) and Clark Graebner of the US (1968). His most famous doubles win in Davis Cup was in the 1966 final against Australia's Newcombe and Roche (perhaps the best doubles pair before the Woodies and McEnroe/Fleming).

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Ramanathan Krishnan Thread

Postby Insider » Sun Mar 06, 2005 3:38 am

Ramanathan has been quoted as saying that at the time, he felt satisfied with what he was achieving and did not have that burning desire to win Grand Slams. For this reason, Krishnan is not one of my sporting heroes.

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Ramanathan Krishnan Thread

Postby gvhvhg » Sun Mar 06, 2005 4:55 am

Here is what i posted a year and a half ago in another thread:

When i was on holiday in paris i visited Roland Garros. THe museum there is sensational, a must. The only multimedia tennis museum in the world. YOu can watch highlights from all matches in the ninties, and finals dating back to the 60s!!!!!!!!!!

IThe library is also amazing and i took down these old books from the 50's, and took some notes on indian players and RAMANATHAN. I will post hsi info here and the rest in golden oldies.

1954 Roland Garros

Krishnan-Jansco (HONG) lose in 1st rnd

1954 Wimbledon

R128 R.Krishnan def G. Garnett (USA)
6-3 6-3 6-2
R64 R. Krishnan defD. Scharenguivel (CEY)
6-2 6-3 6-2
R32 R.Krishnan l. MG Rose (AUS)
6-3 6-1 6-3

1958 Roland Garros

R.Krishnan def E.Aguirre (CHI)
6-0 9-7 8-6

R.Krishnan l. A.Maggi(ITA)
6-2 6-4 3-6 6-1

Krishnan- Kumar doubles QF
1958 Wimbledon

R128 Ramanathan Krishnan (IND) d. JM Cranston (USA)
6-3 6-4 1-6 6-3
R64 R. Krishnan (IND) d. IJ Warwick (GB)
6-1 14-12 6-0
R32 R. Krishnan (IND) d. JC Molinari (FRA)
8-6 6-1 6-0
R16 R. Krishnan (IND) l. (8) B.Mckay (USA)
6-3 11-9 6-2

Doubles Krishnan-Kumar reach QF

AND NNOWTHE BIGGIE

1960 Wimbledon

R128 (7) Krishnan def.JE LIndquist (SWE)
6-4 6-3 2-6 3-6 6-1

R64 (7) Krishnan def.A.GImeno (ESP)
2-6 6-3 6-0 2-6 6-3

R32 (7) Krishnan def. W.Stuck (GER)
6-0 6-1 6-1

R16 (7) Krishnan def. IC Vermada (SA)
3-6 8-6 6-0 5-7 6-2

QF (7) Krishnan def. (4) L.Ayala(CHI)0
7-5 10-8 6-2

SF (7) Krishnan l. (1) N.Fraser (AUS)
6-3 6-2 6-2

1958 Yugoslavia final b. Haillet
8-6 6-2 3-6 6-2
doublesw/skonecki b. haillet and sirolla

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Ramanathan Krishnan Thread

Postby PKBasu » Thu Mar 10, 2005 6:06 pm

Apart from Queen's Club, Ramanathan's biggest international victories were the singles and doubles titles at the US Hardcourt championships. (THE US championship was played on grass at Forest Hills in those days, but Krish won the US Hardcourt championship).

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Re: Ramanathan Krishnan Thread

Postby PKBasu » Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:00 pm

PKBasu wrote:
Krish also won 50 singles matches for India in the Davis Cup, still a record. He had major DC singles victories over Tony Mottram of Britain (1955), Rod Laver (1959, in an away tie), Chuck McKinley and Whitney Reed of the US (both in 1961), Juan Gisbert of Spain (1965, in Spain), Wilhelm Bungert of Germany (1966), J Mandarino and, especially, Tomas Koch of Brazil (1966 Interzonal final), Inge Buding of Germany (1968) and Clark Graebner of the US (1968). His most famous doubles win in Davis Cup was in the 1966 final against Australia's Newcombe and Roche (perhaps the best doubles pair before the Woodies and McEnroe/Fleming).


A word on some of the names above. Chuck McKinley was the Wimbledon singles champion in 1963 and the runner-up in 1961 (the year Krish beat him in Davis Cup, and Laver beat Krish in the SF and McKinley in the final at Wimbledon). Bungert was the Wimbledon finalist in 1967 (the year after Krish beat him in the Davis Cup Inter-Zonal semifinal). The year Krish beat Clark Graebner, the latter made the SF of the US Open (playing a classic match against Ashe that was the subject of John McPhee's book, "Levels of the Game"). Krish himself was playing less regularly on the tour by that point, but he was still good enough to beat one of the best professionals of his era. Tomas Koch of Brazil has one of the greatest Davis Cup individual records, but the significance of Krish's victory over him was that it occurred in the key match of the Inter-Zonal final (Brazil had beaten the US -- including Ashe and Ralston -- in the previous round, with Mandarino winning both his singles matches; of course, Krish beat both Koch and Mandarino...). Of course, Rod Laver (who Krish beat in Davis Cup action in 1959) went on to become the greatest left-hander in tennis history, and the only one to have won the Grand Slam of tennis twice. Laver turned the tables on Krish in the Wimbledon semifinal in 1961. 

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Re: Ramanathan Krishnan Thread

Postby PKBasu » Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:00 pm

Insider wrote:Ramanathan has been quoted as saying that at the time, he felt satisfied with what he was achieving and did not have that burning desire to win Grand Slams.  For this reason, Krishnan is not one of my sporting heroes.


I think this is grossly unfair, even if the quote is true (which I'm not convinced it is).

It is simply a fact that Wimbledon was the really big tennis event, and the Australian Open (for instance) was not really considered all that important an event. It is quite possible, for instance, that an Aussie coined the term "Grand Slam", to include the AO in it. Even in the 1970s, the Italian Open (now called the Rome Masters) and the WCT championship were often thought of as more important than the Australian Open (which used to be played at the end of the year, and many top players used to ignore). Before the Open era, of course, they used to be called the US, French and Australian championships.
For amateur sportsmen, making the long trek to Australia at the end of the year was not worth the extra effort, since it wouldn't garner the sort of attention that doing well at Wimbledon would. Something like the Danish or Swedish Open in badminton (which, alongwith the All-England, form the Grand Slam of that game -- which was won by Prakash Padukone in 1980 -- although the other two haven't quite lived up to those lofty standards). There was serious talk of formally "replacing" the AO with the Italian Open (or Key Biscayne, once that emerged seriously in the 1980s) until the AO shifted to January in the late-1970s and got Ford to sponsor the championships in the mid-1980s.
Krish probably answered that way to a question he may have been asked about not pursuing any of the Slams other than Wimbledon. He didn't play that regularly at the French or US championship, and rarely (if ever) played the Australian championship. The Amritraj brothers, Sashi Menon, Jasjit Singh, Lall and Mukherjea all usually skipped the Australian Open in the 1970s, when they may well have won titles there against pretty weak fields (the nadir being when the journeyman Aussie Mark Edmondson won the AO title). Krish too might have won the Australian or US championships had he played there more often, but we must realise he was an amateur who had to pay for his own passage to these events, and needed to conserve his financial and physical energies. He did win the US hard-court championships (although THE US championship was played on grass those days, as was the Australian!). And he won the singles title at Queen's Club, the great traditional pre-Wimbledon event that attracted the world's best. Krish played in an era when people played sport in the true Olympic spirit ("it is the taking part that counts, not just the winning"), and he did India proud in that era with some stellar performances that have not been emulated since: two Wimbledon singles semifinals.   

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Re: Ramanathan Krishnan Thread

Postby punarayan » Sun Oct 15, 2006 2:12 am

PK Basu,  Thanks for the nice words and recalling Ramanathan Krishnan's achievements.  He is still the stalwart of Indian Tennis.  He was on par with the best of his day.  I think in those days financial considerations were paramount and the ability to play travelling exhibitions was most important for all the players.  I had the good fortune to see him play one of these as a young man in Hyderabad as my Dad was a tennis nut himself and travelled to Bombay and Madras just to see these great players as they criss-crossed the world.  Ramanathan was suprisingly tall for an Indian and yes, he had that great backhand which his son Ramesh also was blessed with.  I did have the suprising good fortune to shake his hand of all places on a street in Manhattan as he stolled along with his wife and son.  I will never forget that moment.  Thanks again and keep the past alive.

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Re: Ramanathan Krishnan Thread

Postby BSharma » Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:56 am

I had the good fortune to see him play one of these as a young man in Hyderabad

Make that two people who had the good fortune to see him play.  :D I played junior tennis at Gymkhana Club in Allahabad, the site of Central India Lawn tennis Championship during the 1960s, and Ramanathan Krishnan, Fred Stolle, Mike Sangster, Jaideep, Premjit and other players were regulars at this championship. 

Ramanathan had a great lob also that he used to use very effectively against Mike Sangster, the player with the biggest serve in the 1960s.  He played so effortlessly and had great anticipation of the shots, and his son Ramesh also exhibited them during his playing days.  Both Ramanathan and Ramesh lacked a strong serve and people often wondered then how far Ramanathan would have progressed if he had a serve as good and effective as the top Australian players.

I remember reading in the mid-60s that Ramanathan was offered $50,000 per year to play professionally, but he chose to remain an amateur.  Later he played on a so-called professional tour before the Grand Slams became open to the pros, and he and Manuel Santana of Spain often played in the finals although Santana would usually beat Ramanathan.

The last time I saw Ramanathan was during the Davis Cup tie against Sri Lanka in Lucknow in 1972 and he was the captain of the Indian team, but let Jaideep and Premjit play all 5 matches for India. 

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Re: Ramanathan Krishnan Thread

Postby gvhvhg » Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:26 am

he was the captain of the Indian team, but let Jaideep and Premjit play all 5 matches for India.


Unfortunately the same cannot be said of one Leander Adrian Paes :p

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Re: Ramanathan Krishnan Thread

Postby PKBasu » Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:49 am

Come on, Ashish, that isn't the same thing at all. Both Premjit and Jaidip were regularly playing in the Slams then, while Ramanathan wasn't. Beating Sri Lanka in the Davis Cup was very easy for India in those days (and, of course, remains so to this day!!).

But Bhushan's memory of Krish and Santana playing each other in almost every final in the US pro tour in the late-1960s is borne out by Krish's autobiography. And there is an interesting story there, of how Krish won several tournaments toward the end of the season once Santana was injured. In Houston, he was "bought" (in the betting stakes) by one George HW Bush, who rushed onto the court to hug him after he had won a title...

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Re: Ramanathan Krishnan Thread

Postby BSharma » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:28 pm

PKBasu wrote:. . .Both Premjit and Jaidip were regularly playing in the Slams then, while Ramanathan wasn't. Beating Sri Lanka in the Davis Cup was very easy for India in those days (and, of course, remains so to this day!!).

But Bhushan's memory of Krish and Santana playing each other in almost every final in the US pro tour in the late-1960s is borne out by Krish's autobiography.


Premjit and Jaideep were excellent players and handily beat the Sri Lankan players in that Davis Cup tie.  Premjit had the best serves amongst the three Indian players and he was trying not to hit his serve very hard against the Sri Lankan players during the match, but some spectators including me were shouting to Premjit to show his big serve.  I think he had enough of us (we were sitting in the second row) after a while, went and picked up the towel, made sure that the racket handle and his hands were dry and came up with his big serve that the Sri Lankan player had no idea where it went. 

I was a big fan of Ramanathan ( I try to lob like him) and I should get his autobiography and read it.  Luckily the Uttar Pradesh newspapers used to carry news about all of his matches when he played "professionally".

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Re: Ramanathan Krishnan Thread

Postby PKBasu » Thu May 21, 2009 6:31 pm

While digging around for information on the French championships, we discovered that Ramanathan Krishnan reached the men's singles QF at Roland Garros in 1962 and the PQF in 1965 (he was seeded 10th and 9th respectively in those years). Before 1962, Krish doesn't appear to have played the French at all -- quite common in those days, when the finances for travel were not as easily available.

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Re: Ramanathan Krishnan Thread

Postby punarayan » Sat May 30, 2009 11:57 pm

Wow - imagine the excitement of having an Indian in the quarters in Paris on clay! I guess the angles work irrespective of the surface! Thanks for the info PK Basu. I did not know this. Doesn't matter if Tennis is different these days with the racquets, strings, physical fitness and coaching. Ramanathan Krishnan transcends all eras! His achievements have not been equaled over all these years.

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Re: Ramanathan Krishnan Thread

Postby ss1 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:13 am

Great article in last week's Hindu on TK Ramanathan - Ramanathan Krishnan's father. Cannot but be awed by his incredible passion for the game.

TKR had the first feel of a racquet at the age of 23; he bought this for Rs. 34 after selling a piece of his wife's jewellery.


It says that he'd even have gone on to play Wimbledon if not for WWII, and that he coached not just Ramesh and Krishnan, but also Lakshmi Mahadevan, former Asian champion..

http://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/article865140.ece


Also, here's a very interesting article where Lakshmi Mahadevan speaks on the tennis scene those days:

http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/ ... e95071.ece


ps- mods please feel free to edit if it's off-topic.


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