Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

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

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PKBasu
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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby PKBasu » Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:41 pm

I didn't play holi (too fastidious!!) but I remember going up to shake Vijay's hand after the final match, and surprising him by saying, "Vijay, you're the pride of India". I was sitting in the front row during Ramesh's match, and cheering even more lustily than the gang of schoolboys that the DLTA had organised for the occasion. During Vijay's match, I was sitting just behind Ramesh and my voice went completely hoarse during and after that amazing match.

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby gvhvhg » Fri Feb 04, 2005 5:09 am

This is great....Obviously I cannot contribute with an anectdote of my own but it is just fascinating to read about the great players in Indian tennis history...a player like Sashi Menon who as it was said spent his whole career in the 90-120 range is not really talked about....yet at the same time right now I would kill for a player of that level for us on the mens side

Guys keep the stories coming!

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby PKBasu » Fri Feb 04, 2005 11:26 am

One of Sashi Menon's great wins in the Davis Cup, of course, was over Henri Leconte in 1984 (when Menon was nearly 32, and Leconte was a sprightly 21-year-old ranked in the top-25). Although this was the final reverse singles (i.e., a "dead rubber"), Leconte fought hard -- but Menon won 10-8 in the final set.

Years earlier, when he was near the peak of his career, Menon had beaten Onny Parun (Vijay's perennial Davis Cup nemesis) in a reverse singles match in 1978.

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby Rajiv » Fri Feb 04, 2005 2:28 pm

match against leconte i wouldn't say was his greatest ,
it was a dead 5th rubber , leconte was not serious, clowning his usual self in between points and the french were in a hurry to pack thier bags , this after they had taken a 4-0 lead ,
infact anand played a great match in that tie ,
in the live opening rubber lost to leconte in 4 sets -, 8-6 in the fourth where he (anand) had many break points to tie at 2-2
and as a matter of fact sashi and anand are of the same age.

good victory though over leconte , but sashi has much better victories in dc

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby gbelday » Fri Feb 04, 2005 2:41 pm

hey guys, so cool..i remember watching that match too...sashi was awesome!!

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby jayakris » Fri Feb 04, 2005 2:43 pm

I think we have three threads going on similar oldies topics suddenly. Time to combine them somehow?

Jay

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby gvhvhg » Fri Feb 04, 2005 5:35 pm

One of Sashi Menon's great wins in the Davis Cup, of course, was over Henri Leconte in 1984 (when Menon was nearly 32, and Leconte was a sprightly 21-year-old ranked in the top-25). Although this was the final reverse singles (i.e., a "dead rubber"), Leconte fought hard -- but Menon won 10-8 in the final set.



Interesting because of course we all know that Lee beat Leconte at the end of his career in DC

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby gvhvhg » Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:40 am

praise for Sania from the greatest Indian player of all time:

some interesting stuff in there...I had never heard of Rita Davar...talk about a pioneer



http://www.hindu.com/2005/02/14/stories/2005021407321900.htm

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby Kumar » Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:40 am

PKB, Ramanathan krishnan talks about Rita Davar in this article (In hindu)
http://www.hindu.com/2005/02/14/stories ... 321900.htm

Krishnan said about a dozen women players took part in the National championship then and about six in the South India championship. "To make up for the draw, the entries will be filled with dummy names like `Bat, ball, volley and smash.' The first girl to break the tradition was a Panjabi girl from Calcutta, Rita Davar. She reached the junior final at Wimbledon in 1952 and was on match point. I was a witness to that. Later she married a German and I have not heard about her since.''



Ramesh Krishnan's touch game was real artistry and great pleasure to watch.. My only regret is that I didn't get to watch the FREJUS match in its entirety.. i watched it on the sunday, till the play was suspended and before I got back from college it was all over.. That day he showed the fighting spirit which is in total contrast to his laidback nature..

If he had taken up doubles with any kind of seriousness at his peak, he would be near the top of any list of Indian players..

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby PKBasu » Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:33 am

gvhvhg wrote:praise for Sania from the greatest Indian player of all time:

some interesting stuff in there...I had never heard of Rita Davar...talk about a pioneer

http://www.hindu.com/2005/02/14/stories/2005021407321900.htm


Nice remarks from the great man.
We have discussed Rita Davar at some length in this thread before...see, for instance, my post dated July 7th, 2003 here. Rita Davar apparently played a few national championships before going off to Germany as mentioned in that Hindu interview. Sad that she didn't persevere with her tennis, which clearly had enormous potential (she "made it" as a junior before Krish Sr.!).
(On a totally different topic -- and I apologise for bringing it up here -- a Rita Faria was Miss World in 1965, so we have had more than one Rita in a pioneering role; I know about this because one of my dad's assistants in 1965 was Rita Faria's boy-friend, although she broke it off with him soon afterwards...Krish's remarks about the social constraints on girls/women in the 1950s reminded me of this: by the 1960s, presumably, the social constraints were beginning to diminish, although the fact that Nirupama Vasant, etc. didn't play outside Asia was also a consequence of the social constraints Krish talks about).

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby Dangermouse » Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:57 pm

Here's a nice page which lists the Davis cup stats of all Indian players:

http://www.daviscup.com/teams/playerwin ... p?team=IND

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby PKBasu » Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:15 am

As we near the end of another grass season, here's a nugget from 33 years ago. Queen's Club, 1972. Premjit Lall made the PQF (last 16), beating Russia's Kakoulia in R2. In R1, Jaideep Mukerjea beat Guillermo Vilas! The 18-year-old Vijay Amritraj lost in a tight 3-setter in R1, as did elder brother Anand. But there were four Indians in the 64-man draw:

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

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Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby PKBasu » Sat Mar 25, 2006 5:18 pm

The Indian Open in 1973 (New Delhi) was truly a star-studded event, with former Slam winners like Mal Anderson, Fred Stolle, etc. in the draw, and future top-10 players like Brian Gottfried and Raul Ramirez (these two of course also formed one of the greatest doubles pairings of all time). SEVEN Indians made the second round (the draw below has one error: it was 37-year-old amateur Ramanathan Krishnan who made the R2, not the then 12 year old Ramesh!!):
http://www.atptennis.com/en/tournaments ... tYear=1973
Two Indians, Vijay and Jasjit Singh, made the QF, and Vijay (who was top seeded by virtue of making the QF of both Wimbledon and the US Open that year) beat Mal Anderson in an epic 5-set final. One of the most delectable wins in the tournament had to be Jasjit Singh's victory over Brian Gottfried. Ramanathan and Jeff Borowiak made the doubles QF, losing in two tiebreaks (which then occurred at 8-8) to the Amritraj brothers, who subsequently lost a close final to Ramirez and McManus.

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Re: Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby PKBasu » Sat Oct 07, 2006 5:06 pm

Indians at Wimbledon pre-1955

Sardar Nihal Singh was the first Indian to actually play at Wimbledon: he lost in R1 in 1908 and 1909, but made the third round of singles in 1910. The brother AA and AH Fyzee also first played at Wimbledon in 1910.

In the 1920s, the Fyzee brothers (1923 and 1925), Jagat Mohan Lal (1925) and Mohammad Sleem (1921) made the last-16 (pre-quarterfinal) stage at Wimbledon. In fact, in 1925 there were three Indians in the last-16 stage -- AH Fyzee, Jagat Mohan Lal and SM Jacob, a British ICS officer who was representing India. Jacob became the first player representing India to make the quarterfinal. Sleem became the first Indian to win a title at Wimbledon, when he won the Men's Plate Championship (for those eliminated in the first two rounds) in 1928. IN 1923, Lewis Deane (an India-born British civil servant) became the first player representing India to make a Wimbledon final: he lost the MxD final (with a British partner).

In 1939, Ghouse Mohammad Khan became the first Indian to make the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, losing to the legendary Bobby Riggs (who gained new notoriety in the 1970s with his "Battle of the Sexes" matches against Margaret Court -- whom he beat -- and Billie-Jean King, to whom he lost). Had the War not intervened, Ghouse Mohammad may well have done even better in the early-1940s.

In 1948, Dilip Bose became the first citizen of independent India to make the pre-quarter-final (last-16) stage at Wimbledon; the year we became a Republic (1950), Bose was seeded 15th at Wimbledon, the first Indian to ever be seeded in singles. His contemporaries and team-mates, Sumant Misra and Jimmy Mehta, began India's great doubles tradition by making the Men's Doubles quarter-finals in both 1947 and 1948. Narendra Nath made the singles third round in 1948 and 1950, and the MxD QF in 1951.

In 1955, Naresh Kumar made the last-16 (PQF) stage in men's singles and the QF of men's doubles (in the company of Ramanathan Krishnan). Krish's own feats are recounted in his own thread (as are other Indian tennis stars past and present). But Krish started the tradition of Indian success in the Junior Boys championship. He, his son Ramesh, and later Leander Paes won the boys title, while Premjit Lall, Jaidip Mukherjea and Ashok Amritraj were other Indians who made the boys' final.

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Re: Golden Stars of Indian Tennis

Postby puneets » Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:48 pm

Some pics from the Delhi Grass court tournament in late 50's or early 60's.
http://picasaweb.google.com/hanklacy/Ba ... 8865817586

I can spot Ramanathan Krishnan, but have no clue about the other players.

On the scoreboard in the background, one can read names of Naresh Kumar and M. Moser.
Last edited by puneets on Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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