Nirupama Mankad thread

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PKBasu
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Nirupama Mankad thread

Postby PKBasu » Fri Mar 11, 2005 12:31 pm

When I was a boy (i.e., in the early 1970s), by far the best Indian woman tennis player was Nirupama Mankad (nee Vasant). She was seven times the national women's champion, twice the Asian women's champion, and finished the year as India's #1 woman player 12 times. Her main competitors through most of her career were Kiran Bedi (nee Peshawaria) and Susan Das. Of course, Kiran Bedi went onto earn fame as a police officer in later life, but she was definitely second to Mrs. Mankad on the tennis court!
I had the distinct privilege of having a phone conversation with Nirupama Mankad this afternoon. And I took the opportunity to ask her about her experiences at Wimbledon. She mentioned that she had played in the junior event, and later played Mixed Doubles in the main draw -- making the second round with Anand Amritraj as her partner.
In those days, it was difficult for Indian women to venture overseas and play regularly on the pro tour. Nirupama is a reticent person, who doesn't believe in complaining about her circumstances; she is thankful for the great playing opportunities she got in tennis. I think she has much reason to be proud of what she has achieved as a tennis player -- being twice Asian champion is no mean feat (and she achieved this for the first time in her teens). It was a pleasure speaking to this dignified and inspiring lady, who was a pioneer of Indian (and Asian) tennis in an era when it was even more difficult to make it in the game globally as professionalism was just arriving.

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Nirupama Mankad thread

Postby jaydeep » Fri Mar 11, 2005 2:24 pm

Thanks PKB reminding us one of all time greatest Indian Women Tennis Player ... After considering the time in which Nirupama ji was playing, these all achievements r simply amazing ... Hats off to this great lady ... Kiran Bedi link was really missing from my knowledge of history.

Jaydeep.

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Nirupama Mankad thread

Postby PKBasu » Fri Mar 11, 2005 4:29 pm

Kiran Bedi too was Asian champion once, in 1972.
Basically, if the Australian Open had the Asian wild-card in those days, both Nirupama Mankad (twice) and Kiran Bedi would have received it...

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Nirupama Mankad thread

Postby BSharma » Fri Mar 11, 2005 5:00 pm

I am one of the lucky ones in this forum who saw her play a few times in India. She was a great player in her days - a slice backhand, a good forehand and very fluid strokes - and she was superior to her Indian opponents.

Thanks PKB for starting this thread.

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Nirupama Mankad thread

Postby PKBasu » Sun Jun 12, 2005 5:34 am

Nirupama Mankad has been travelling with her son Harsh for the past couple of weeks, giving him invaluable tips as he negotiates the grass season in the UK. From what Samarth's eye-witness accounts suggest, her experienced eye often spots the opponent's strengths and weaknesses, giving Harsh excellent tactical ideas in key matches.

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Re: Nirupama Mankad thread

Postby ippenta62 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:04 am

Coming to women players, I met Kiran Bedi's sister Anu Peshwaria during the late 1970's , i think 1978, when my dad practiced with her during the National Championship in Delhi. Amritha Ahuluwali was the top player. it was good to see lot of young players, like Parvathy Venkatraman, Bela Pandit, Monisha Muthanna, play during the late seventies.

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Re: Nirupama Mankad thread

Postby PKBasu » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:15 pm

Here is the 1971 Mixed Doubles draw at Wimbledon, showing Nirupamaji and Anand Amritraj winning the first round in straight sets, and taking a set in the second round before going down:
http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/scores/d ... /r1s2.html


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