Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

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

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby gvhvhg » Fri Jul 02, 2004 9:16 pm

Just looking at Ramesh's best oppurtunites to get past the QF's at Majors during his career. This is what ive come up with.




1981 Usopen- Reached Quarter Finals. Not much I can make of this. Lost to John McEnroe in four sets. One of 10 losses against Super Brat. This is the match where McEnroe said "The guy serves at 10 miles an hour and I still can't return it." McEnroe played Guillemo Vilas in the Semis.

1984(December) Australian Open--Reached third round---I guess it is true that initially alot of top players skipped the aussie open Because as the 28 ranked player in the world, RAmesh Krishnan was the 11th seed at the 1984 Australian Open. With this seeding he got a bye in the first round and in the R64 got by 152nd ranked Steve Shaw of Great Britain in straight sets. However in the round of 32 he was drawn against world # 97 Lloyd Bourne. There is no score, but Bourne moves on. I am assuming Ramesh defaulted. This looks like a great oppurtunity that onfortunately went out the window due to injury. As the 11th seed and coming off a great year, top 25, beating Wilander in October, this could have been a great tournament for Ramesh. Haha mabye not, Bourne played Edberg the 8th seed in the next round. But who knows what Ramesh could have done.

1985 Wimbledon-Ranked #30--Reached third round--two easy matches against players in the 100s, including his buddy Lloyd Bourne in the second round :mrgreen: gave Ramesh a date with #3 Jimmy Connors. Connors won in four sets. The first three being coin toss sets. Connors played Giammalva Jr., S. (USA ) in the next round, whom i could find no records on. And then a chilean qualifyer, R.Acuna in the next round!!!!

1986 Wimbledon- ranked #41--reached the quaters lost to Zivojinovic, Slobodan 2-6 6-7 6-4 3-6 , a winnable match against a player ranked 5 spots higher than him. In his book RK says "Zivojinovic's cannonballs consumed him." However he took out 3 higher ranked players than himself on the way
Maciel, Francisco (MEX ) 35
Nystrom, Joachim (SWE) 8
Jelen, Eric (GER ) 32

Victory over Zivojinovic would have set up a semi final with Lendl who he never beat in 10 tries. But it would have been on grass. Zivojinovic took Lendl to 5 sets.

1986 Us Open--ranked #41--reached third round---was up a break in the fifth against #4 Stefan Edberg. Coming from behind against Ramesh, Edberg went on to play Goldie, wildcard in the round of 16, and then what could have been a winnable for Krishnan match against Tim Wilkison, ranked 28, only won two tournaments in his career versus Ramesh's 8. Semi Finals for Edberg was against none other than Ivan the Terrible.

1987 Usopen-ranked #46--reached quarters--beat Annacone, Nystrom, Kriek and Chesonokv without dropping a set, before losing tamely to Edberg in the final eight. Edberg went on to play Wilander in the semis.

1989 Australian Open--Ranked #65--Reached third round. After coming off a title at Aukland the week before, RAmesh pulled off one of his greatest wins (ranked #2 on his list) beating world number one Mats Wilander in straight sets in the second round. Then in the third round Ramesh lost to a Mexican, Leonardo Lavalle ranked #74. A win over Lavalle would have set up at R16 match with a then qualifyer Goran Ivanesivec. And then a quarterfinal with Mecir, 1988 year end #13, who's head to head with RAmesh was dead even at 2-2. Semi Finals was against the swedish Gunnarson ranked 85 in the world!!!!!! If Ramesh had continued in the form that he had, winning aukland, beating the world number one he would most defnitley have reached the final against Lendl.

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby PKBasu » Sat Jul 03, 2004 6:08 pm

I remember Ramesh's match against the 6th-seeded Kriek at the US Open 1987 quite vividly. I had just arrived to study at UPenn, but watched that watch on a TV in west Lafayette, IN. Newcombe was commentating and waxing poetic on Ramesh's backhand (he called the "greatest since Rosewall's") but tearing his hair out over his horribly ineffective serve ("why can't he get himself a better serve?" he kept asking, as all Ramesh fans did). My neighbourhood pizza restaurant owner in Philadelphia was a Filippino, and he offered me free pizza (in honour of a fellow Asian) as I watched the PQF. Sadly, Ramesh was never in the game at all in the QF against Edberg.
In 1981, Ramesh beat Gene Mayer (then world #5) in the PQF (although Mayer got injured after he was down 2 sets to 1 and a break in the fourth) and gave McEnroe a fright by taking a set off him in the quarter-final.

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Vijay Amritraj on the tennis channel

Postby gvhvhg » Fri Jul 09, 2004 8:52 pm

For Those of us here in north america who have the tennis channel there is a show hosted by Chris Myers called "Centre Court." It is where Myers interviews past greats of the game. TOday i found out there is an episode with VA, which came out in March. The next airing of that episode will be on July 18th 11 am EST/8 am PST.

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby PKBasu » Thu Jul 22, 2004 1:25 pm

1973 was probably the best year (in the post-'68 Open era) for Indians on the ATP pro tour. Clearly helped, of course, by the boycott by 18 of the top-20 pros, Vijay Amritraj made the Wimbledon quarter-finals. BUT he also made the US Open quarter-final the same year, losing to the all-time great Ken Rosewall. And there were surprising nuggets like this (Anand Amritraj making the semi-final in Hong Kong, then one of the big events of the year, only losing to Rod Laver, after having beaten former Wimbledon champ Mal Anderson and Sherwood Stewart in the previous two rounds):

http://www.atptennis.com/en/tournaments ... es=Singles

..or this (Chiradeep Mukerjea, believe it or not, making the QF in Nottingham; remember this guy always played as an amateur!):
http://www.atptennis.com/en/tournaments ... es=Singles

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby PKBasu » Thu Jul 22, 2004 1:51 pm

Actually in 1973, FOUR Indians made the second round of the main draw at Wimbledon, with Jaidip Mukherjea defeating Anand Amritraj in round 2 before losing in 4 sets in the PQF to eventual winner Jan Kodes who, of course, beat Vijay in the quarter-finals in a 5-setter (in which Vijay was up 2 sets to 1...). Chiradeep Mukherjea (Jaidip's younger brother) also made R2, and the FIFTH Indian in the main draw, Premjit Lall, lost in R1 to 6th-seeded Bjorn Borg after a humdinger of a third-set tie-breaker. As far as I know, both Mukherjea brothers played as amateurs: I know for sure that Chiradeep never turned pro! Those were the days...
It's sobering to reflect on the fact that, while Prakash (now 20 years old) won a round in the qualifying event this year, his father Vijay made the quarterfinals at 19 in 1973 (albeit in a severely depleted field in which only one of the world's top 10 played that year -- Ilie Nastase). And Vijay also made R2 of the main draw when he was 18, in 1972 (which probably explains his contempt for the junior event! Brother Ashok twice made the junior final, but never made it as a pro). In fact, even in 1972 there were FOUR Indians in the main draw of Wimbledon, Vijay and Premjit Lall making R2 (while Jaidip and Anand fell in R1 in four and five sets respectively to tough opponents, Graebner and Masters). And there were four Indians in the main draw of the US Open in 1972 (only Anand made R2, while Vijay lost to Vitas Gerulaitis in 4; the other two in the main draw were not Mukerjea and Lall -- who probably found it too expensive to go to the US -- but Sashi Menon and Jasjit Singh!!).

Ramesh Krishnan at 19 (in 1980) qualified into the main draw at Wimbledon, and won two rounds. In fact, that year, there were three Indians in the singles main draw: only Vijay lost in R1 (to 16th-seeded Jose Luis Clerc, in one of those matches that became typical of Vijay at Wimbledon, with him winning the first two sets and then losing heart-breakingly) while Sashi Menon (who also qualified in) lost in R2 to 4th-seeded Vitas Gerulaitis in 4 sets (having won the first in a tie-breaker!).

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby PKBasu » Thu Jul 22, 2004 2:24 pm

One of the mysteries of the 1970s (the glory years of Indian pro tennis) is why the Indian players didn't play the Australian Open in those years. (It's true that hardly anyone thought of the AO as a true Slam, and in 1973 the draw was filled with Australians, Kiwis, and just a smattering of Brits and 2-3 Japanese). But in 1974 there was a good list of players (Connors won, Borg played) but Vijay and Anand skipped it, and the only Indian in the draw was Jasjit Singh!

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby gvhvhg » Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:24 am

I just found a random piece of information---that in their only pro meeting anand amritraj defeated john McEnroe in 1977 in what i am beginning to see as the home of indian tennis...newport, RI!!!! VA won there multiple times, Leander won his only title there, anand defeated mecenroe....mabye newport should become a part of punjab or something :notworthy:

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby PKBasu » Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:34 am

Yeah, I pointed this out in one of my previous posts on this (or perhaps another) thread. This win by Anand came immediately after McEnroe had made the semifinals at Wimbledon the previous week!

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Postby gvhvhg » Wed Sep 29, 2004 9:55 pm

Oh this was the year when mcenroe had just burst onto the scene and reached the semis (at wimbledon) as a qualifyer...so anand kind of kicked him of his pedastal---saying "your not there yet kid!"

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby gvhvhg » Sun Oct 03, 2004 7:26 pm

so i just watched Vijay Amritraj on "Center Court" with Chris Myers...interesting...he reely is a great guy---a funny story about playing ken rosewall in the usopen quarter finals when pancho gonzalez was his coach....before the match PG did not stop telling VA to not play to rosewall's backhand---yet when the match began rosewall was standing in the doules alley and it was just to tempting---he played the whole opening game to rosewall's backhand and lost it at love and then when he looked up at pancho's seat for encouragment it was vacant!! Pancho had left, packed, checked out of the hotel, went to laguardia airport and went bag to Vegas....he didnt return vijay's calls for 3 months!!! when they finally did talk again Pancho said...."you indians dont understand a word of english!"

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby BSharma » Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:22 am

Thanks gvhvhg for sharing the story about Vijay. I am sure many players felt the same as Vijay did for hitting to Rosewall's back hand.

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby PKBasu » Mon Oct 04, 2004 4:47 am

Vijay is a brilliant raconteur. But to me the real story of this incident is that Pancho Gonzalez was actually coaching Vijay early in his career -- which really was a coup in itself. Pancho was the greatest tennis pro during the era in which pro tennis was proscribed from the main tennis-playing circuit (especially including the Slams). For him to have agreed to coach an upcoming Indian player was a huge coup for Vijay Amritraj. If only Leander (or even Ramesh) had attracted such a high-flying coach in the early years of his career....

For awhile in the 1960s, the Pancho Gonzalez-Ken Rosewall rivalry was one of the great stories of the pro circuit before the Open era. Pancho obviously knew how to get the better of the younger man, because Gonzalez won 8 consecutive US Pro titles before Laver toppled him in 1964. Pancho Gonzalez was US National (i.e., the US Open before it was open to pros) champion in 1948 and 1949, and was 40 years old by the time it was finally opened to pros. He had been ranked no. 1 in the world in 1949 and remained a top-10 player in the Open-era rankings in 1968 and 1969; he was still ranked #9 in the US in 1972 (when he was 44), having first been the US #1 in 1948! Terrific man, although his records are difficult to find and understand because he toiled throughout his prime in the relative obscurity of a pro tour that was outside the global limelight.

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby potato » Sun Nov 21, 2004 12:25 am

Premjit Lall is getting a smidgeon of attention today, as the Federer and Safin 20-18 tiebreak in the TMC semis equalled that of Lall-Borg at 1973 Wimbledon.

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby PKBasu » Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:51 pm

I was glad the record was merely equalled and not broken. There have been about 4 other times when a tie-break went to 20-18 (Borg-McEnroe being the most famous), but the Lall-Borg record from all those years ago has merely been equalled, not ever broken!!

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby gvhvhg » Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:03 am



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