A few Indians have made the country proud at the prestigious grand slam in the past.
Wimbledon is the most prestigious of the Grand Slams in lawn tennis. It is highly competitive and not a cup of tea for every other tennis athlete. Only a handful of players manage to play in the competition and achieve success. It is a dream of every individual to secure the win at the iconic tournament and there is no feeling better than making one’s country proud.
The oldest tennis tournament is held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London. The 135th edition of the Wimbledon will take place from 27 June 2022 to 10 July 2022. Many top-level tennis stars will participate in the competition, hoping to win top honours. When it comes to Indian players, historically there have been some iconic performances.
On those rare occasions, tennis stars from India made the country extremely proud on the biggest stage of the sport. Whether it is doubles or singles, tennis enthusiasts in India have had moments to remember. On that note, here is a look at the five greatest performances by Indians at the Wimbledon:
Sumit Nagal won the boy’s doubles
Back in 2015, Sumit Nagal was a budding tennis star from India with a lot of promise. Little did he know that he would go on to become only the sixth Indian ever to win a junior title at the Wimbledon. Along with his partner Nam Hoang Ly of Vietnam, the 17-year-old won the boy’s doubles tournament.
Sumit Nagal and Nam Hoang Ly defeated fourth seeds Reilly Opelka and Akira Santillan by 7-6(4) 6-4. The final between the two pairs went on for 63 minutes.
Ramanathan Krishnan the two-time semifinalist
Ramanathan Krishnan was a massive talent back in the day. He reached the semi-final back in 1960 and 1961. The Indian athlete was the seventh seed and therefore one of the major names in Men’s Singles in 1960. He beat the likes of John Hillebrand, Andres Gimeno, W Stuck, Ian Vermaak and Luis Ayala on his way to the semis.
In the end, Krishnan lost to World No.1 Neale Fraser in straight sets who went on to win the tournament eventually by beating Rod Laver in the final. Ramanathan Krishnan became the first Indian to reach the last four of a Grand Slam at the end of his run. Impressively, he reached the semi-final once again in the very next year at the 1961 edition of the Wimbledon.
Two-time quarter-finalist Vijay Amritraj
Vijay Amritraj is also one of the finest players India has produced in tennis. He made the country proud during his playing days by reaching the quarters on two occasions, in 1973 and 1981. On both occasions, he was unseeded, therefore there were no major expectations from the player.
On his way to the quarter-final entry uring the 1981 edition of the Wimbledon, Amritraj beat sixth seed Brian Teacher in five sets. The Padma Shree awardee then met iconic tennis legend, Jimmy Connors. Amritraj pushed the American to five sets but came away on the losing side. Despite the defeat, the Indian athlete won a lot of hearts.
Sania Mirza won the Wimbledon in the doubles category
The lone Indian at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships has won the competition once back in 2015. Sania Mirza has won three Grand Slam titles in Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles each, a total of six wins. The 2015 calendar year was exceptional for the Indian as she went on to win the US Open later that year too.
During the 2015 edition of the Wimbledon, Mirza paired with Martina Hingis to win the Women’s Doubles bracket. They beat the second-seeded Russian pair of Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova 5-7, 7-6(4), 7-5 in the final to lift the trophies.
The awe-inspiring pairing of Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes
Both Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes are among the best Indian tennis players to ever pick up the racquet. Each individual has won multiple Grand Slam trophies in Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles category over the years. However, when they played together as a team, the passion on the court was immense.
In one of their many iconic performances, the pairing of Bhupathi and Paes won the Wimbledon in 1999. That is the only occasion when both of them won this particular competition in Men’s Doubles. Winning the championship in style, they beat Paul Haarhuis and Jared Palmer in the final.