Clay triumphs from the past

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PKBasu
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Clay triumphs from the past

Postby PKBasu » Tue Aug 09, 2005 4:31 pm

We often think of Indian tennis players (especially men) as having games particularly well-suited to grass. There are good historical reasons for such a view, and of course many of our players have played serve and volley.
What is interesting, however, is that when it comes to the crunch, Indian players have actually done surprisingly well on clay. The best recent example was the Davis Cup victory over France on the red clay of Frejus, engineered by Leander Paes and Ramesh Krishnan.
If you look at Vijay Amritraj's career, one of the interesting things that emerges is that he had a winning record (3-2) on clay against his great contemporary Jimmy Connors, although the latter won all three of their Slam contests.
Here's another example:
http://www.atptennis.com/en/tournaments ... es=Singles

Mexico City tour event, 1978. Three Indians in the draw, two make the singles semifinal -- Vijay A and Sashi Menon -- and the third the QF. All three are in the men's doubles semifinal. Eventually, Vijay wins a double crown -- on clay -- beating the local favourite Raul Ramirez in both finals. Neat. Especially since Ramirez then was a top-10 singles and top-2 doubles player.

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Re: Clay triumphs from the past

Postby PKBasu » Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:40 pm

Vijay Amritraj's famous title at Bretton Woods in 1973 -- when he beat (an admittedly ageing) Rod Laver in the quarter-final and (a young and up and coming) Jimmy Connors in the final -- was on clay.

And the first two ATP tour titles of Ramesh Krishnan's pro career were also on clay! At Manila in 1981 and at the Stuttgart Outdoor in 1982.

Now those are stats that should inspire the clay-phobes among our current breed of players!! 

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Re: Clay triumphs from the past

Postby sameerph » Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:19 pm

Thanks PKB for bringing alive these golden oldies thread .

Intersting to read on these feats by Indian players ( most of which we were not fortunate to witness or follow).

Of course, I do vividly remember watching that Frejus thrimph on Doordarshan when Ramesh Krishnan put it across Cedric Pioline (or was it someone else ?) in the fifth rubber. I also remember Leander playing his serve & volley stuff on clay & still beating Arnauld Boetsch .

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Re: Clay triumphs from the past

Postby sanjay5goel » Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:53 pm

sameerph wrote:Of course, I do vividly remember watching that Frejus thrimph on Doordarshan when Ramesh Krishnan put it across Cedric Pioline (or was it someone else ?) in the fifth rubber. I also remember Leander playing his serve & volley stuff on clay & still beating Arnauld Boetsch .


I too recall watching that tie and a sense of wonder when Leander continued with his tactics and eventually won. Before that I never thought that chip and charge could work on clay - but evidently Leander made it work.

Some memories.. eh!!

Sanjay

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Re: Clay triumphs from the past

Postby PKBasu » Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:55 am

I didn't have the pleasure of watching that match (as I lived in the US at the time; although I did watch India beat Switzerland in Calcutta in the first round that year, while on a spring holiday back home). But it was Rodolphe Gilbert who Ramesh beat in the final rubber, after they decided to replace an ageing and tired Leconte with Gilbert. Ramesh had softened up the French by beating their then-#1 Cedric Pioline in R1 of the Swiss Open the week before the Davis Cup tie. Ramesh was then approaching retirement, but went to Key Biscayne (and made R3, losing a close one to Stich) before the Switzerland tie and then to the Swiss Open before the Frejus tie against France. Pioline, of course, didn't play the Davis Cup tie against India as he was having one of his periodic disagreements with the French tennis federation. 

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Re: Clay triumphs from the past

Postby PKBasu » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:22 pm

Ramanathan Krishnan made the QF at the French championships in Roland Garros in 1962, while both he and Jaidip Mukherjea made the singles PQF there in 1965.
Ramesh Krishnan, of course, won the junior singles title at the French Open in 1979.

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Re: Clay triumphs from the past

Postby rajitghosh » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:35 am

In 1965, RK sr played a lot of clay court tournaments in N and S. America and ended up losing 3 finals to Manuel Santana. He finally won the River Oaks tournament, the biggest win of his career.
He also reached the finals of other big clay court tournaments like the Swedish Open and the Swiss Open apart from winning the Dutch Open.


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