Tennis: India

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(Prajnesh loses in second round)
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The money is well spent though. The grass court built here in 1934 is one of the best in the country and the one the players can vouch for.
 
The money is well spent though. The grass court built here in 1934 is one of the best in the country and the one the players can vouch for.
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=PART B=
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=DAVIS CUP=
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== 2018: India loses to Serbia==
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[https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TOIDEL%2F2018%2F09%2F16&entity=Ar02427&sk=B8A9897B&mode=text  Kumaraswamy K, India lose doubles & tie to Serbia in Davis Cup, September 16, 2018: ''The Times of India'']
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Captain Mahesh Bhupathi wore a wry smile at the press conference. “Well, we have made it to the World Group next year. That’s the positive we take. And hopefully, it will be a home tie, because I think we deserve it,” Bhupathi said, his carefully put-on glee masking the 0-3 numbing defeat against Serbia.
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Factually, the multiple Grand Slam champion was spot on. But beyond that, there was nothing else to take away for Indians from the slow, low bouncing red surface at the Kraljevo Sports Centre. The Indians could take just one set, won by Ramkumar Ramanathan in the opening singles on Friday.
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On Saturday, the ageing Rohan Bopanna and Saketh Myneni proved little match for the thunderous serves of Cup debutant Danilo Petrovic and the solid-and-steady-from-thebaseline, Nikola Milojevic. Needing to win to keep the tie alive, the Indians went down 6-7 (5), 2-6, 6-7 (4) in two hours and 22 minutes.
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Bhupathi didn’t have much of an explanation for changing the doubles nomination, replacing Sriram Balaji with Myneni. At 6’8”, Petrovic delivered bombs at will. It was way above the calibre of a player ranked 228 in doubles and 233 in singles. Milojevic, 23, is ranked 193 in singles and 345 in doubles.
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Bhupathi responded edgily when it was pointed out the Indians were the favourites to win the doubles. “I don’t know which expert said that. I am the doubles expert. And I always believed that this was going to be an extremely difficult rubber,” he said.
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==2019: Italy beat India 3-1==
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[https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TOIDEL%2F2019%2F02%2F03&entity=Ar02405&sk=6D7CA2B1&mode=text  Amitava Dasgupta, No grass effect: Italy beat India 3-1, February 3, 2019: ''The Times of India'']
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''Doubles Pair Of Bopanna And Sharan Earns Consolation Win''
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Italy overcame a blip on Saturday morning to conquer India 3-1 and march into the Davis Cup Finals.
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Down for the count after the opening day itself, the home team salvaged pride courtesy Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan’s come-from-behind victory over Simone Bolleli and Matteo Berrettini. The Indian pair’s 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph had the capacity crowd at South Club baying for more. But Prajnesh Gunneswaran once again cut a sorry figure to surrender 1-6, 4-6 to Andreas Seppi.
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As India return to the zonal level for the umpteenth time, after being outclassed in the singles rubbers on their chosen surface at home, the same old question will keep haunting the tennis fraternity: where are the singles players who can win us at least two matches out of four?
 +
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Captain Mahesh Bhupathi, however, saw no reason for despair. “These boys are working their way up. Prajnesh was 300 last year, Ram (Ramanathan) is on his way up. Yuki (Bhambri) is back after injury. Once we have a fully fit team, I don’t see why we can’t make Madrid.”
 +
 +
That looks a distant dream after seeing the country’s latest hope Prajnesh — on the verge of breaking into the top 100 for the first time in a lateblooming career — fail to force a single break point in two matches, leave alone win a set. Against Seppi, the Indian earned a mere two points on the Italian’s serve in the opening set. He did marginally better in the second, managing to take Seppi to deuce once in five service games.
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If that is a commentary on Prajnesh’s quality of returning, his serving didn’t pass muster either. In a remarkably dismal coincidence for the left-hander, he dropped serve first up. Starting off with two forehand errors, Prajnesh saved a break point only to hand Seppi the early break.
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Prajnesh showed some fight in the second set, staving off five break points in the third game before succumbing after a faulty approach shot. Seppi was happy to spar from the baseline, aware that Prajnesh will falter. And when the Indian ventured to the net, following up a serve or after a long exchange, Seppi passed him comfortably.
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The day started on a bright note as the 32-year-old Divij, playing only his second Davis Cup match, combined with Bopanna to turn it from being a break down in the final set.The left-handed Divij provided the early spark, holding serve easily, hustling the Italians with some sharp net play and attacking Bolleli’s second serve. The Indians missed that chance in the fourth game and were themselves under pressure on Bopanna’s serve in game 9.
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=JUNIOR DAVIS CUP=
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==2019: India beats Indonesia 3-0==
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[https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TOIDEL%2F2019%2F04%2F10&entity=Ar02713&sk=CAD32D40&mode=text  April 10, 2019: ''The Times of India'']
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'''India blank Indonesia 3-0 in junior Davis Cup'''
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Bangkok: After being drubbed by New Zealand, the junior Indian Davis Cup team blanked Indonesia 3-0 with Ajay Malik winning both his singles and doubles matches in the Asia-Oceania final qualifying matches. Ajay put India ahead with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Moh Gunawan Trismuwantara in the opening singles. Sushant Dabas then sealed the tie for India by defeating Nauvaldo Jati Agatra in the second singles. In the inconsequential doubles rubber, Ajay and Divesh Gahlot came back from a set down to beat Agatra and Lucky Candra Kurniawan 6-7(6) 6-2 10-4. India next play Australia, who are favourites to top the group.
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=== India loses 1-2 to Australia===
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[https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/tennis/top-stories/indian-junior-davis-cup-team-loses-1-2-to-australia-finishes-3rd-in-group-d/articleshow/68818402.cms  Junior Davis Cup team loses 1-2 to Australia, April 10, 2019: ''The Times of India'']
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Bangkok: The junior Indian Davis Cup team finished third in four-team Pool D after losing its last round robin league match 1-2 to Australia. Ajay Malik could take only two games in the opening singles, losing 0-6 2-6 to Phliip Luke Sekulic in just 53 minutes.
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=PART C=
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=YEAR-WISE HISTORY=
 
=2016=
 
=2016=
 
==Sikki-Pranaav win Grand Prix title ==
 
==Sikki-Pranaav win Grand Prix title ==
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=2018=
 
=2018=
== Davis Cup: India loses to Serbia==
 
[https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TOIDEL%2F2018%2F09%2F16&entity=Ar02427&sk=B8A9897B&mode=text  Kumaraswamy K, India lose doubles & tie to Serbia in Davis Cup, September 16, 2018: ''The Times of India'']
 
  
 
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==Oct: Divij India’s top doubles player==
Captain Mahesh Bhupathi wore a wry smile at the press conference. “Well, we have made it to the World Group next year. That’s the positive we take. And hopefully, it will be a home tie, because I think we deserve it,” Bhupathi said, his carefully put-on glee masking the 0-3 numbing defeat against Serbia.
+
 
+
Factually, the multiple Grand Slam champion was spot on. But beyond that, there was nothing else to take away for Indians from the slow, low bouncing red surface at the Kraljevo Sports Centre. The Indians could take just one set, won by Ramkumar Ramanathan in the opening singles on Friday.
+
 
+
On Saturday, the ageing Rohan Bopanna and Saketh Myneni proved little match for the thunderous serves of Cup debutant Danilo Petrovic and the solid-and-steady-from-thebaseline, Nikola Milojevic. Needing to win to keep the tie alive, the Indians went down 6-7 (5), 2-6, 6-7 (4) in two hours and 22 minutes.
+
 
+
Bhupathi didn’t have much of an explanation for changing the doubles nomination, replacing Sriram Balaji with Myneni. At 6’8”, Petrovic delivered bombs at will. It was way above the calibre of a player ranked 228 in doubles and 233 in singles. Milojevic, 23, is ranked 193 in singles and 345 in doubles.
+
 
+
Bhupathi responded edgily when it was pointed out the Indians were the favourites to win the doubles. “I don’t know which expert said that. I am the doubles expert. And I always believed that this was going to be an extremely difficult rubber,” he said.
+
 
+
==Oct:  Divij India’s top doubles player==
+
 
[https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TOIDEL%2F2018%2F10%2F30&entity=Ar02522&sk=DCB6E907&mode=text  October 30, 2018: ''The Times of India'']
 
[https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TOIDEL%2F2018%2F10%2F30&entity=Ar02522&sk=DCB6E907&mode=text  October 30, 2018: ''The Times of India'']
  
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It was third tournament together for Bopanna and the Canadian, having competed at Indian Wells and Miami Masters before. AGENCIES
 
It was third tournament together for Bopanna and the Canadian, having competed at Indian Wells and Miami Masters before. AGENCIES
 
==Davis Cup: Italy beat India 3-1==
 
[https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TOIDEL%2F2019%2F02%2F03&entity=Ar02405&sk=6D7CA2B1&mode=text  Amitava Dasgupta, No grass effect: Italy beat India 3-1, February 3, 2019: ''The Times of India'']
 
 
 
''Doubles Pair Of Bopanna And Sharan Earns Consolation Win''
 
 
Italy overcame a blip on Saturday morning to conquer India 3-1 and march into the Davis Cup Finals.
 
 
Down for the count after the opening day itself, the home team salvaged pride courtesy Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan’s come-from-behind victory over Simone Bolleli and Matteo Berrettini. The Indian pair’s 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph had the capacity crowd at South Club baying for more. But Prajnesh Gunneswaran once again cut a sorry figure to surrender 1-6, 4-6 to Andreas Seppi.
 
 
As India return to the zonal level for the umpteenth time, after being outclassed in the singles rubbers on their chosen surface at home, the same old question will keep haunting the tennis fraternity: where are the singles players who can win us at least two matches out of four?
 
 
Captain Mahesh Bhupathi, however, saw no reason for despair. “These boys are working their way up. Prajnesh was 300 last year, Ram (Ramanathan) is on his way up. Yuki (Bhambri) is back after injury. Once we have a fully fit team, I don’t see why we can’t make Madrid.”
 
 
That looks a distant dream after seeing the country’s latest hope Prajnesh — on the verge of breaking into the top 100 for the first time in a lateblooming career — fail to force a single break point in two matches, leave alone win a set. Against Seppi, the Indian earned a mere two points on the Italian’s serve in the opening set. He did marginally better in the second, managing to take Seppi to deuce once in five service games.
 
 
If that is a commentary on Prajnesh’s quality of returning, his serving didn’t pass muster either. In a remarkably dismal coincidence for the left-hander, he dropped serve first up. Starting off with two forehand errors, Prajnesh saved a break point only to hand Seppi the early break.
 
 
Prajnesh showed some fight in the second set, staving off five break points in the third game before succumbing after a faulty approach shot. Seppi was happy to spar from the baseline, aware that Prajnesh will falter. And when the Indian ventured to the net, following up a serve or after a long exchange, Seppi passed him comfortably.
 
 
The day started on a bright note as the 32-year-old Divij, playing only his second Davis Cup match, combined with Bopanna to turn it from being a break down in the final set.The left-handed Divij provided the early spark, holding serve easily, hustling the Italians with some sharp net play and attacking Bolleli’s second serve. The Indians missed that chance in the fourth game and were themselves under pressure on Bopanna’s serve in game 9.
 
  
 
==Fed Cup: Kazakhstan beat India 3-0==
 
==Fed Cup: Kazakhstan beat India 3-0==
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The world No. 97 won 72% of the points on first serve but it was his return game that made the difference against Paire. He saved five out of eight break points he faced and converted four of the six break opportunities he got on Paire’s serve.
 
The world No. 97 won 72% of the points on first serve but it was his return game that made the difference against Paire. He saved five out of eight break points he faced and converted four of the six break opportunities he got on Paire’s serve.
 
==Junior Davis Cup==
 
===India beats Indonesia 3-0===
 
[https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TimesOfIndia/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TOIDEL%2F2019%2F04%2F10&entity=Ar02713&sk=CAD32D40&mode=text  April 10, 2019: ''The Times of India'']
 
 
 
'''India blank Indonesia 3-0 in junior Davis Cup'''
 
 
Bangkok: After being drubbed by New Zealand, the junior Indian Davis Cup team blanked Indonesia 3-0 with Ajay Malik winning both his singles and doubles matches in the Asia-Oceania final qualifying matches. Ajay put India ahead with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Moh Gunawan Trismuwantara in the opening singles. Sushant Dabas then sealed the tie for India by defeating Nauvaldo Jati Agatra in the second singles. In the inconsequential doubles rubber, Ajay and Divesh Gahlot came back from a set down to beat Agatra and Lucky Candra Kurniawan 6-7(6) 6-2 10-4. India next play Australia, who are favourites to top the group.
 
 
=== India loses 1-2 to Australia===
 
[https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/tennis/top-stories/indian-junior-davis-cup-team-loses-1-2-to-australia-finishes-3rd-in-group-d/articleshow/68818402.cms  Junior Davis Cup team loses 1-2 to Australia, April 10, 2019: ''The Times of India'']
 
 
 
Bangkok: The junior Indian Davis Cup team finished third in four-team Pool D after losing its last round robin league match 1-2 to Australia. Ajay Malik could take only two games in the opening singles, losing 0-6 2-6 to Phliip Luke Sekulic in just 53 minutes.
 
  
 
==Prajnesh beats world No. 18==
 
==Prajnesh beats world No. 18==

Revision as of 17:06, 15 August 2019

This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.

Contents

The economics of an Indian tennis player

Ramkumar Ramanathan, for example

akshay sawai, The economics of an Indian tennis player on the rise, Feb 12, 2017: The Times of India


Ramkumar Ramanathan was instrumental in India's Davis Cup win recently. His annual expenses add up to Rs 50 lakh approximately. But finding monetary support is not easy in a sport that depends on government funding, and in a country where corporations are reluctant to spend on non-cricket sport

Ramkumar Ramanathan was tossed in the air by teammates after he won India the Davis Cup tie against New Zealand last weekend in Pune. A few hours later, the 22-year-old was airborne again, this time on a flight to San Francisco for a tournament. “I was to fly out later but got a wild card entry into the tournament. So, I booked a fresh ticket and left,“ Ramkumar says from San Francisco. “There was no celebration as such. We just had a team dinner.“

That is the life of a tennis player, whether you are Ramkumar or Roger. But Roger is rich.Ramkumar, ranked no. 264 in the world, has earned a modest $201,560 (approximately 1.35 crore) after some six years on circuit.That's probably Roger's private jet bi l l for a month. The amount doesn't look too bad, but it is not much once travel costs and coaching fees are factored in.

Ramkumar says, “One of the industry norms for a coach is 1,000 a week as fees, travel and stay expenses and 10-15 per cent of the prize money. But it varies depending upon the scale of the tournament.“

Last year, Ramkumar played over 20 tournaments, from the qualifiers of big shows li ke Wimbledon and F rench Open to small er events i n places like Ho Chi Minh City, Samarkand and podunk towns i n A mer ic a . I f he had a coach w it h h i m , he'd have paid $25,000 in fees. He made nearly $78,000 in prize money last year, of which ab out $ 8 , 0 0 0 wou ld have been the coach's cut. In all, he'd be paying the coach about $33,000 ( 22 lakh plus). Add travel and stay expenses. “ 50 lakh annually would be a good estimate of my expenses,“ Ramkumar says.

Joint effort

So far, Ramkumar has been financed, at various points, by his father, his own earnings, the International Management Group (IMG) and the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA).The TNTA's vice-president is Karti Chidambaram, a loquacious tennis buff and the son of P Chidambaram, the former finance minister of India. (Karti once said Ramkumar wasn't easy to get along with. Asked about the comment, he tells , “I said that but that's his personality. We are not looking for a son-inlaw. We are looking for a player.“) K a r t i fe el s pl ayer s l i ke Ramkumar and Yuki Bhambri, who have potential, deserve funding of around $30,000 (about Rs 20 lakh) a year.

“I t hi n k players li ke Ramkumar or Yuki should be given a subsidy of about $30,000,“ he says. “But I don't believe a player must be completely funded. There must be some pain for him as well.If it's all paid, then it may be taken for granted.“

T h e T N TA h a s b a c k e d Ramkumar for nearly eight years, since the time he was about 14. He has been training at the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona since 2010-11. “One year, he was at the academy for about 11 months,“ Karti says.“TNTA probably spent $ 30,000 on him that time.“

Ramkumar acknowledges the association's support. “I'm grateful to them,“ he says.

Asked how much the TNTA spends on Ramkumar now, Karti says, “It is need based. We also have performance-based incentives for him.“

'Scope for improvement

Karti feels that while Ramkumar's Davis Cup performance was cred itable, it came against soft opposition. At 22, he shou ld have been in the top-150.

“It's a bit disappointing that he's 264,“ Karti says. “He needs to work on his fitness and his backhand. But the good thing about him is that he has a big forehand, serve and is a fighter who thrives on the big stage. He is not afraid of reputations. When India played Spain in the Davis Cup, he played Feliciano Lopez as a peer (he lost in four sets).“

AITA's criticism

In the recent past , Somdev Devvarman a nd Bh a mbr i h ave lambasted the All India Tennis A ssociation (A I TA) .Karti, too, said the federation had failed in supporting players.He says that India can easily afford to back its players, but the AITA hasn't shown the will.

“You need to spend about 3-4 crore a year on about six players. It's doable,“ Karti says. “Yuki was a huge opportunity wasted. He was the world no. 1 junior and junior Australian Open champion. Any country with half a tennis federation would call him and say `Hire whichever coach you want and we will pay for him'.“

AITA responds

To a question on the AITA's contribution to Ramkumar's career, Hironmoy Chatterjee, hon. secretary general, said the federation had recommended him for government funding.

“Ramkumar and some other Indian players received some government funding basis our recommendation,“ Chatterjee says. “And this year we are confident of more funds from the government.“

Another official, requesting anonymity, said the AITA's main job was to create infrastructure and host tournaments. He said, “We had over 20 tournaments in India in 2015, which helped the likes of Ramkumar develop.“

Bhavna Memorial ITF Tournament

History, 2002-18

Mohd Dilshad, Muzaffarnagar ITF event is tribute to a daughter, November 12, 2018: The Times of India


An International Tennis Federation women’s pro circuit tournament in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar with a prize money of US$ 25,000 may sound unreal. But the week-long tournament, now in its seventh edition and drawing several ranked players from across the world, has been here since 2002. The story behind the feat of bringing an international event to the backyard of UP’s wild west is tragic, yet inspiring.

Bhavna, a chirpy 13-yearold student at Welham Girls’ School in Dehradun, died in a terrible road accident in 2001 while she was on her way back to her school after a short vacation at her home in Muzaffarnagar. One thing that her father Alok Swarup, a 56-year-old local businessman whose family deals into real estate, paper mills, flexible packaging and hospitality, could never forget was her passion for tennis. “She was a budding player and was doing quite well in school,” he said.

Along with a group of friends, and support of his family, he started the Bhavna Memorial ITF Tournament in 2002. Sania Mirza was the chief guest here in 2008.

This year, women players from more than a dozen countries, including Japan, Australia, Germany, England, France etc., are participating. The week-long event opens on Sunday.

The nods of All India Tennis Association and ITF were not easy to come by, but Swarup had to do this for her daughter’s memory.

“I feel closer to her during the event. And that’s good enough reason for me to continue this,” he said.

The money is well spent though. The grass court built here in 1934 is one of the best in the country and the one the players can vouch for.

PART B

DAVIS CUP

2018: India loses to Serbia

Kumaraswamy K, India lose doubles & tie to Serbia in Davis Cup, September 16, 2018: The Times of India


Captain Mahesh Bhupathi wore a wry smile at the press conference. “Well, we have made it to the World Group next year. That’s the positive we take. And hopefully, it will be a home tie, because I think we deserve it,” Bhupathi said, his carefully put-on glee masking the 0-3 numbing defeat against Serbia.

Factually, the multiple Grand Slam champion was spot on. But beyond that, there was nothing else to take away for Indians from the slow, low bouncing red surface at the Kraljevo Sports Centre. The Indians could take just one set, won by Ramkumar Ramanathan in the opening singles on Friday.

On Saturday, the ageing Rohan Bopanna and Saketh Myneni proved little match for the thunderous serves of Cup debutant Danilo Petrovic and the solid-and-steady-from-thebaseline, Nikola Milojevic. Needing to win to keep the tie alive, the Indians went down 6-7 (5), 2-6, 6-7 (4) in two hours and 22 minutes.

Bhupathi didn’t have much of an explanation for changing the doubles nomination, replacing Sriram Balaji with Myneni. At 6’8”, Petrovic delivered bombs at will. It was way above the calibre of a player ranked 228 in doubles and 233 in singles. Milojevic, 23, is ranked 193 in singles and 345 in doubles.

Bhupathi responded edgily when it was pointed out the Indians were the favourites to win the doubles. “I don’t know which expert said that. I am the doubles expert. And I always believed that this was going to be an extremely difficult rubber,” he said.

2019: Italy beat India 3-1

Amitava Dasgupta, No grass effect: Italy beat India 3-1, February 3, 2019: The Times of India


Doubles Pair Of Bopanna And Sharan Earns Consolation Win

Italy overcame a blip on Saturday morning to conquer India 3-1 and march into the Davis Cup Finals.

Down for the count after the opening day itself, the home team salvaged pride courtesy Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan’s come-from-behind victory over Simone Bolleli and Matteo Berrettini. The Indian pair’s 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph had the capacity crowd at South Club baying for more. But Prajnesh Gunneswaran once again cut a sorry figure to surrender 1-6, 4-6 to Andreas Seppi.

As India return to the zonal level for the umpteenth time, after being outclassed in the singles rubbers on their chosen surface at home, the same old question will keep haunting the tennis fraternity: where are the singles players who can win us at least two matches out of four?

Captain Mahesh Bhupathi, however, saw no reason for despair. “These boys are working their way up. Prajnesh was 300 last year, Ram (Ramanathan) is on his way up. Yuki (Bhambri) is back after injury. Once we have a fully fit team, I don’t see why we can’t make Madrid.”

That looks a distant dream after seeing the country’s latest hope Prajnesh — on the verge of breaking into the top 100 for the first time in a lateblooming career — fail to force a single break point in two matches, leave alone win a set. Against Seppi, the Indian earned a mere two points on the Italian’s serve in the opening set. He did marginally better in the second, managing to take Seppi to deuce once in five service games.

If that is a commentary on Prajnesh’s quality of returning, his serving didn’t pass muster either. In a remarkably dismal coincidence for the left-hander, he dropped serve first up. Starting off with two forehand errors, Prajnesh saved a break point only to hand Seppi the early break.

Prajnesh showed some fight in the second set, staving off five break points in the third game before succumbing after a faulty approach shot. Seppi was happy to spar from the baseline, aware that Prajnesh will falter. And when the Indian ventured to the net, following up a serve or after a long exchange, Seppi passed him comfortably.

The day started on a bright note as the 32-year-old Divij, playing only his second Davis Cup match, combined with Bopanna to turn it from being a break down in the final set.The left-handed Divij provided the early spark, holding serve easily, hustling the Italians with some sharp net play and attacking Bolleli’s second serve. The Indians missed that chance in the fourth game and were themselves under pressure on Bopanna’s serve in game 9.

JUNIOR DAVIS CUP

2019: India beats Indonesia 3-0

April 10, 2019: The Times of India


India blank Indonesia 3-0 in junior Davis Cup

Bangkok: After being drubbed by New Zealand, the junior Indian Davis Cup team blanked Indonesia 3-0 with Ajay Malik winning both his singles and doubles matches in the Asia-Oceania final qualifying matches. Ajay put India ahead with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Moh Gunawan Trismuwantara in the opening singles. Sushant Dabas then sealed the tie for India by defeating Nauvaldo Jati Agatra in the second singles. In the inconsequential doubles rubber, Ajay and Divesh Gahlot came back from a set down to beat Agatra and Lucky Candra Kurniawan 6-7(6) 6-2 10-4. India next play Australia, who are favourites to top the group.

India loses 1-2 to Australia

Junior Davis Cup team loses 1-2 to Australia, April 10, 2019: The Times of India


Bangkok: The junior Indian Davis Cup team finished third in four-team Pool D after losing its last round robin league match 1-2 to Australia. Ajay Malik could take only two games in the opening singles, losing 0-6 2-6 to Phliip Luke Sekulic in just 53 minutes.



PART C

YEAR-WISE HISTORY

2016

Sikki-Pranaav win Grand Prix title

Foz do Iguacu (Brazil)

Indian mixed doubles pair of Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra clinched their maiden Grand Prix title, bagging the Brazil Open with a straight game victory over Canadian combo of Toby Ng and Rachel Honderich in the finals, here. The top seeded Indian pair, who are ranked World No. 65, prevailed 21-15, 21-16 over second seeds Toby and Rachel in a 37-minute summit clash at Costa Cavalcante here.

2017

The best players

February 10, 2018: The Times of India


YUKI BHAMBRI

Won the $50,000 KPIT ATP Challenger Crown, beating Ramkumar Ramanathan 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 for his six Challenger triumph. Beat the world No 22 and defending champion Gail Monfils in the second round of the ATP Citi Open in Washington, DC. Having qualified for the main draw of the ATP 500 tournament, Bhambri upset the Frenchman 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.

In the third round, he rallied to beat Argentinian Guido Pella 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-1 before losing to Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals. This performance saw Bhambri move 41 spots in the ATP rankings, from 200 to 159. He was also the runners-up with Divij Sharan at the Tashkent Challenger.


ROHAN BOPANNA

Lifted his first Grand Slam title by winning the French Open mixed doubles trophy with Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski, becoming the fourth Indian tennis player to clinch a major. In just his second Grand Slam final, Bopanna teamed with Dabrowski to beat Germany’s Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Colombia’s Robert Farah 2-6, 6-2, 12-10.Won the season opening Chennai Open with Jeeven Nedunchezhiyan. Won the Monte Carlo Masters with his Uruguayan partner Pablo Cuevas after a three-set win over Spain’s Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez. Won the Erste Bank Open in Vienna with Cuevas, beating Sam Querrey and Marcelo Demoliner 7-6 (7), 6-7 (4), 11-9.

Also reached the quarter-finals of the China Open with Cuevas.


SANIA MIRZA

With Czech partner Barbara Strycova, reached the final of the Sydney International final where the pair lost 4-6, 4-6 to Timea Babos and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Partnered Strycova to the final of the Miami Open, where they were stunned by the unseeded pair of Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yifan 4-6, 3-6. Reached the semi-finals of the $2,666,000 Wuhan Open in China with Chinese partner Shuai Peng. Reached the semifinals of the China Open with Peng.


DIVIJ SHARAN

Won the men’s doubles title with Purav Raja at the Bordeaux Challenger in straight sets over Santiago Gonzalez and Artem Sitak. Won the European Open Trophy in Antwerp with American Scott Lipsky - his first of 2017 on the ATP World Tour, and third overall - with a 6-4, 2-6, 10-5 win over Santiago Gonzalez and Julio Peralta.

Runner-up with Yuki Bhambri at the Tashkent Challenger event after a 4-6, 2-6 loss to the second seeded pair of Hans Podlipnik-Castillo an Andrei Vasilevski. Runner-up with Raja at the season-opening Chennai Open. Runnerup with Scott Clayton at the Brest Challenger event in France. Reached his highest career rank of 51.


PURAV RAJA

Won the men’s doubles title with Divij Sharan at the Bordeaux Challenger in straight sets over Santiago Gonzalez and Artem Sitak. Runner-up with Sharan at the season-opening Chennai Open.

With Leander Paes, reached the quarterfinals of the €106,000 Challenger tennis tournament in France. Teamed up with Paes to win the $75,000 Knoxville Challenge with a 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) victory over James Cerretani and John-Patrick Smith.

2018

Oct: Divij India’s top doubles player

October 30, 2018: The Times of India


Divij Sharan became India’s new number one doubles player, overtaking veteran Rohan Bopanna by moving to 38 in the ATP rankings.

The left-handed Sharan, who has been one of the most consistent players on the doubles circuit with partner Artem Sitak, has held the numero uno position in the country for the first time in his career.

Bopanna dropped nine places to 39 while Leander Paes gained two places to be 60 in the world. Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan touched a career-high rank of 72 with a jump of three places.

“It feels pretty amazing to have become the highest ranked player in India today. It’s not easy by any means with Mahesh, Leander and Rohan having dominated the doubles circuit for the last couple of decades but they have carved the path and set the trend for the rest of us,” the 32-year-old Divij said.

Taipei OEC: Ankita-Karman pair clinches title

November 18, 2018: The Indian Express


Ankita Raina and Karman Kaur Thandi -- India’s top two singles players --combined to win their maiden title on the WTA Tour, grabbing the doubles trophy at the USD 125,000 Taipei OEC Open, on Sunday. Playing first time together on the Pro circuit, the Indians clinched the title when Russia’s Olga Doroshina and Natela Dzalamidze opted out of edge-of-seat contest due to latter’s injury. The match was on even keel with both the pairs splitting the first two sets. The Indians had won the first set 6-4 but lost the second 5-7. The super tie breaker was tied 12-12 when Natela fell and suffered a hamstring injury. She struggled to even walk and they were forced to retire.

2019

ATP Los Kabos

Prajnesh beats Millman

Prajnesh stuns Millman, in Rd 2, July 31, 2019: The Times of India


India’s top singles player Prajnesh Gunneswaran stunned World No. 67 John Millman, beginning his campaign at the ATP Los Kabos event with a bang here.

The left-hander, ranked 90 in the world, beat his Australian rival 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 in one hour and 49 minutes on Monday night.

There were plenty of chances that came Prajnesh’s way and he utilised five of the 16 breakpoints he earned. He also saved three of the seven chances on his own serve. Next up for Prajnesh could be World No. 28 Taylor Fritz, who recently won his maiden ATP Tour title in Eastbourne on grass.

In the doubles, the Indian pair of Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Purav Raja lost their first round 3-6, 3-6 to Lucas Pouille and Gregoire Barrere. PTI

Prajnesh loses in second round

August 2, 2019: The Times of India


Squandering break opportunities cost Prajnesh Gunneswaran dear as the Indian made a second-round exit from the ATP Los Kabos event following defeat against world number 28 Taylor Fritz.

The left-handed Indian, ranked 90, could convert just one of the six break chances to eventually suffer a 6-4 3-6 2-6 defeat against the American. The 20-points earned will help Prajnesh gain two places on the ranking ladder. He also pocketed $12,825 as prize money.

Balaji wins doubles title in Taipei

Kumaraswamy K, April 16, 2019: The Times of India


Sriram Balaji had a memorable start to his partnership with former Australian Open doubles champion Jonathan Erlich as the duo captured the title in the ATP Challenger 125 Series event in Chinese Taipei.

Seeded third in their first tournament together, the Indo-Israeli pair tamed fourth seeds Sander Arends of the Netherlands and Tristan-Samuel Weissborn of Austria 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the hard court tournament on Sunday.

“Definitely it is a great experience playing with Joni. I didn’t feel like this was our first time together,” said the 29-year-old Balaji, who jumped five places to 101 in the latest doubles ranking.

The champions earned 125 points and $9,300. It was his sixth career Challenger title, the previous five coming in association with Vishnu Vardhan. Although Erlich, who lifted the trophy at the Australian Open in 2008 with compatriot Andy Ram, is 42, Balaji was excited about the partnership’s prospects.

“I felt very comfortable with him. He was also sharing his experience and helping me with my game during the week, like a few things I have to work on and get better. We both complement each other very well. We are looking forward in lifting a few more titles in the coming weeks,” he said.

Bopanna, Shapovalov 2nd in ATP Mercedes Cup

Bopanna and Shapovalov falter in final, June 17, 2019: The Times of India


Rohan Bopanna missed out on winning his second title of the season, ending runner-up at the ATP Mercedes Cup with partner Denis Shapovalov, here Sunday.

The unseeded Indo-Canadian combo lost 5-7 3-6 to top seeds Bruno Soares and John Peers in the final.

Bopanna had won the season-opening Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune with compatriot Divij Sharan.

It was third tournament together for Bopanna and the Canadian, having competed at Indian Wells and Miami Masters before. AGENCIES

Fed Cup: Kazakhstan beat India 3-0

February 9, 2019: The Times of India


India’s aspirations of qualifying for the Fed Cup World Group were dashed after hosts Kazakhstan thrashed them 3-0 in a Pool A tie here on Friday. Neither Ankita Raina nor Karman Kaur Thandi could win their singles rubbers losing to their respective opponents in straight sets and it will take some more time to realise their aspirations of making it among the elites.

It was always an uphill task for the Indians to beat the higher-ranked home players but inspirational performance by Ankita against the same players last year had raised visions of an upset.

Fed Cup: India ranked 4th

February 10, 2019: The Times of India


India ended its campaign at the Fed Cup with a fourth place finish after losing the classification tie 1-2 to Korea as the team badly missed injured Karman Kaur Thandi, who did not play. Captain Vishal Uppal handed national champion Mahak Jain her Fed Cup debut after a groin strain forced Karman out of the tie.

The diminutive Mahak played her heart out before losing steam towards the end for a 2-6 6-3 1-6 defeat against Na Ri Kim. Like on many occasions, Ankita came out to level the tie as she outplayed Sunam Jiong 6-3 6-3.

The doubles became decisive but Ankita and Prarthana Thombare lost the close rubber 4-6 4-6 to the Korean team of Su Jeong Jang and Kim.

Indian Wells

Prajnesh pulls off Paire upset

Damayanti Dasgupta, Prajnesh pulls off Paire upset at Indian Wells, March 9, 2019: The Times of India


It was a dream debut for Prajnesh Gunneswaran in an ATP Masters event. The 29-year old from Chennai picked up a straight sets 7-6, 6-4 win over Frenchman Benoit Paire to move into the second round of the Indian Wells meet where he will face world No. 18 Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.

The world No. 97 won 72% of the points on first serve but it was his return game that made the difference against Paire. He saved five out of eight break points he faced and converted four of the six break opportunities he got on Paire’s serve.

Prajnesh beats world No. 18

Damayanti Dasgupta, March 11, 2019: The Times of India


As Nikoloz Basilashvili’s forehand went wide, Prajnesh Gunneswaran clenched his fist and looked up — he seemed to have proved a point to himself. The 29-year-old had after all stunned the world No. 18 to achieve one of the biggest wins of his career so far, advancing to the third round of the Indian Wells ATP Masters event.

The qualifier, ranked 79 placed below Basilashvili, needed two hours and 31 minutes to win 6-4, 6-7(6), 7-6(4) and set up a third round clash against the big serving Ivo Karlovic. Even if he loses that match, Prajnesh will find himself in the 80s in the next world rankings.

But there wasn’t much of a celebration after the win. “I am trying to stay really calm and may be that is the reason why I have consciously toned down my celebration. But I am sure if I really manage to go deep into the tournament I can assure you the intensity of my celebration will change,” Prajnesh told TOI after his win.

Wimbledon

Prajnesh’s campaign ends

Prajwal Hegde, July 2, 2019: The Times of India


Milos Raonic rode on a combination of serve and nerve to overpower India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran 7-6 (7-1), 6-4, 6-2 on a newly-built Court No.12 at the All England club. The 6 ft 5’ Canadian, the 2016 finalist and seeded 15ththis time, mixed his play well in the first set when he was still settling into the match to eventually speed away with a first-round Wimbledon win, closing out in 1 hour and 48 minutes.

Raonic of the thunderous serve, held at love in the opening game to set the tone for the match. If the first exchanges were about the pace of serve, Raonic’s delivery climbing to 133 mph, on which Gunneswaran won the first point against the serve in the match. The left-handed Indian’s counter came down at 124 mph. In a matter of a few games, the 15thseed realized that he wasn’t going to blaze past his opponent on the power punch, and quickly started mixing his play, using the court, soft touch and cutting angles. The 29-year-old was up to the task, refusing to succumb, to the pressure of serving second and pushing the first set to tie-break.

The Canadian didn’t win the shootout just by virtue of being the bigger server, he was also the more solid player as the Indian’s errors on the second serve cost him dear. That’s not to say Raonic didn’t produce the stellar serve, he flexed muscle with a 139 mph delivery.

Raonic broke the world No.94 in the first game of the second set.

See also

Sania Mirza

Leander Paes

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