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India at Wimbledon: A look at history, records and titles

Published at :April 3, 2024 at 4:33 PM
Modified at :April 3, 2024 at 4:33 PM
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Kshitij Sahu


2015 was the last time any Indian managed to win a title at the grass court tennis major.

As the prestigious Wimbledon unfolds, the spotlight illuminates the remarkable achievements and enduring legacy of Indian tennis players on these hallowed grounds. With a rich tapestry woven over the decades, Indian athletes have left an indelible mark on the sport, capturing the hearts of fans worldwide with their grace, skill, and tenacity.

From the trailblazing successes of legends like Ramanathan Krishnan and Vijay Amritraj to the present-day prowess displayed by the likes of Rohan Bopanna and Sumit Nagal, Indian players have navigated the pristine lawns of the All England Club with determination, carving their names into the annals of tennis history. With each passing year, their performances inspire and ignite the aspirations of a nation, as they continue to exemplify the essence of sporting excellence and proudly represent India’s unyielding passion for the game.

As we step into Wimbledon 2023, here are some interesting Indian records to take a look at:

Firsts for India in Wimbledon history

When did India’s first appearance come at Wimbledon?

Sirdar Nihal Singh was the first Indian man to make an appearance at Wimbledon in 1908. He lost in the opening round of men’s singles clash against Herbert Wilson Fox. Nihal Singh went down 9-11, 2-6, 4-6. He, however, returned a year later and registered India’s first-ever victory at Wimbledon.

India’s first-ever performance in women’s category at Wimbledon came from Jenny Sandison in 1929.

Who won India’s first-ever match at Wimbledon and when?

As mentioned above, Sirdar Nihal Singh registered India’s first-ever victory in the tennis grass court major. He won 6-2, 6-4 against Belgium’s Louis Trasenster in the opening round of the Plate tournament in 1909. In the main draw, India’s first win came from Hassan-Ali Fyzee in 1910.

In the women’s section, Jenny Sandison clinched India’s first-ever win. She achieved that feat in women’s doubles in 1929. In women’s singles, India’s maiden win was achieved by Leela Row Dayal in 1934 when she defeated Gladys Southwell in the opening round.

Who is the first Indian to reach the finals at Wimbledon?

Lewis Deane holds this prestigious record of being the first Indian to reach a Wimbleon Open final. He achieved the milestone in mixed doubles alongside Great Britain’s Dorothy Shepherd-Barron in the 1923 edition of the tennis major. Lewis/Dorothy were beaten 4-6, 5-7 by US-Britain duo Elizabeth Ryan/Randolph Lycett.

Who is the first Indian to win a title at Wimbledon?

India had to wait long before landing their first-ever title at Wimbledon. It came with Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes winning the men’s doubles title at the 1999 Wimbledon Championships. The pair had reached the finals of both Australian Open and French Open, winning the latter, that year and entered the Wimbledon draw at the No.1 seeds. Deservedly Bhupathi/Paes beat Paul Haarhuis/Jared Palmer (6-7(10-12), 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(7-4)) to lift their and India’s maiden Wimbledon title.

Sania Mirza in 2015 became the first Indian woman to win the Wimbledon title. She and Swiss legend Martina Hingis teamed up to win the women’s doubles title after defeating Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina 5-7, 7-6(7-4), 7-5). She remains the only Indian woman to win a Wimbledon title till date.

Who is the Indian with most titles won at Wimbledon?

Leander Paes holds the record for most Wimbledon title won by an Indian tennis star. The legendary Paes, has won a record five Wimbledon titles, with four of them coming in mixed doubles. His four mixed doubles titles makes him the player with most mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon, a record he shares with Australia’s Owen Davidson. Paes’ other Wimbledon title came in men’s doubles category. He also has distinction of winning the Junior Boys’ title.

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Indian Winners at Wimbledon

1928 Mohammad Sleem in Men’s Singles (Wimbledon Plate) 6-3, 6-3 against JB Gilbert (GBR)

1954 Ramanathan Krishnan in Boys Singles 6-2, 7-5 against Ashley Cooper (AUS)

1979 Ramesh Krishnan in Boys’ Singles 6-0, 6-2 against Dave Siegler (USA)

1990 Leander Paes in Boys’ Singles 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 against Marcos Ondruska (South Africa)

1999 Leander Paes & Mahesh Bhupathi in Men’s Doubles 6-7(10), 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4) against Paul Haarhuis (NED) & Jared Palmer (USA)

1999 Leander Paes (With USA’s Lisa Raymond) In Mixed Doubles 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 against Jonas Bjorkman (SWE) & Anna Kournikova (RUS)

2002 Mahesh Bhupathi (With Russia’s Elena Likhovtseva) In Mixed Doubles 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 against Kevin Ullyett (ZIM) & Daniela Hantuchova (SVK)

2003 Leander Paes (With USA’s Martina Navratilova) In Mixed Doubles 6-3, 6-3 against and Ram (ISR) & Anastasia Rodionova (RUS)

2003 Sania Mirza (With Russia’s Alisa Kleybanova) In Girls’ Doubles 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 against Katerina Bohmova (CZE) & Michaella Krajicek (NED)

2005 Mahesh Bhupathi (With France’s Mary Pierce) In Mixed Doubles 6-4, 6-2 against Paul Hanley (AUS) & Tatiana Perebiynis (UKR)

2010 Leander Paes (With Zimbabwe’s Cara Black) In Mixed Doubles 6-4, 7-6(5) against Wesley Moodie (RSA) & Lisa Raymond (USA)

2015 Sania Mirza (With Switzerland’s Martina Hingis) In Women’s Doubles 5-7, 7-6(4), 7-5 against Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) & Elena Vesnina (RUS)

2015 Leander Paes (With Switzerland’s Martina Hingis) In Mixed Doubles 6-1, 6-1 against Alexander Peya (AUT) & Timea Babos (HUN)

2015 Sumit Nagal (With Vietnam’s LY Hoang Nam) In Boys’ Doubles 7-6(4), 6-4 against Reilly Opelka (USA) & Akira Santillan (AUS)

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