Nine players are ranked under 150 in the ATP rankings.
The 2022 season has been great for the Indian men’s doubles category with 9 players ranked below ATP 150 rankings. At the start of 2022, only Rohan Bopanna was inside the top 100 with the rest being way far in the rankings but a series of ATP Challenger wins has seen a good improvement.
For the past two years, the doubles specialist couldn’t travel outside India to play many tournaments due to travel restrictions seeing a steep decline in rankings and form. Starting in 2022 after all the restrictions were lifted the players started playing regularly.
Divij Sharan / Purav Raja
The 36-year-old Divij Sharan was the 2nd highest ranked player and was inside the top 75, two years back. After the pandemic, he did not play much and lost form once going outside the top 200 of the ATP rankings. The combo of Sharan and Raja combined again in June and most recently won the ATP 80 Istanbul Challenger.
During the start of 2022, Sharan lost in the 1st round of most tournaments then he combined again with his older partner Raja to regain back the momentum. Purav Raja before partnering with Sharan did not play much tennis and was doing commentary for Sony at times. But after joining Sharan the pair had started playing frequently.
At present Divij Sharan is ranked 147 and Purav is ranked 142.
Arjun plays both the singles and doubles simultaneously but has had success in the doubles format. He won a few ITF tours in India at the start of the season in singles. Arjun partnering will Erler won his first Challenger at Bengaluru in 2022. After the Bengaluru Challenger Arjun has not won any tournament but has been consistently progressing to the quarters and semis.
Arjun Khade’s singles form is a concern as he has not made it to the main draw of any ATP Challenger for the past 4 months.
Currently, Arjun is ranked 137 in doubles.
Sriram Balaji / Jeevan Nenduchezhiyan
Both Balaji and Jeevan were outside the top 170s at the start of 2022. The pair started to play together in April and has won two Challengers to date. Both Jeevan and Sriram complement each other very well with the form playing at the near cour and the latter playing at the baseline.
Sriram Balaji has the highest ranking of 96 and came pretty close to it at 105. Currently, Balaji is ranked 116 and Jeevan at 124 respectively.
Jeevan since the French Open has started commentating in Tamil for Sony.
Saketh Myneni / Yuki Bhambri
Myneni and Yuki are fondly called as YukiSaki on Twitter. Yuki Bhambri made a return to tennis in 2021 after suffering from an injury in 2018. He started focussing solely on doubles this year partnering with Myneni. Saketh at the start of 2022 won the Bengaluru Challenger partnering with Ramkumar Ramanathan but couldn’t continue playing with him further.
The YukiSaki pair joined hands together to win the ITF event in India first and then slowly started winning the Challengers. Together they have won 5 ATP Challengers to date. Saketh Myneni holds the record for winning joint most Challengers along with Rodriguez from Colombia.
Yuki Bhambri before injury predominantly played singles but from next year there are hopes of him playing the singles simultaneously with doubles.
Yuki Bhambri is ranked 111 and Saketh Myneni 97. Saketh became the third Indian to enter the top 100 in doubles in 2022.
Ramanathan started the 2022 season outside the top 120 in doubles. Then within a month after winning the ATP Adelaide, Pune Open, and Bengaluru Challenger he jumped inside the top 100 becoming the second Indian after Bopanna to be ranked inside 100.
Ramanathan then jumped inside the top 60 making it to the main draw of French, Wimbledon, and USA Open directly. Ramanathan has been playing many Challengers of late because he is still concentrating on singles. He ranks outside 200 in singles due to which he cannot participate in the ATP tour regularly.
Still 28, he can become one of the best in doubles if he solely concentrates on it as the form of his single has been on a drop. He is currently ranked 67 in doubles.
Rohan Bopanna has been leading the Indian doubles for more than a decade now. He has been the torchbearer for India in the men’s category after the retirement of Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes. After partnering with Ramanathan initially he started to pair up with Middelkoop from the Netherlands.
The pair went on to reach the Semi-Finals of the French Open and had a few good ATP tour events. At the end of every year, ATP finals events are held for the top 8 ranked players in that particular year. Rohan and Middelkoop look set to qualify for the prestigious event in November.
Currently, Rohan Bopanna is ranked 21.
Anirudh Chandrasekhar (24) was ranked outside the top 600 in doubles at the start of 2022 but now has jumped 300 placed above to get inside the top 250.
With a good number of ATP Challengers and tours lined up, we can see a few more Indians inside the top 100 and qualify for the main draw of the Australian Open in 2023.