India at Wimbledon: A look At History, Records and Titles

India's journey at Wimbledon, the oldest tennis tournament in the world, commenced more than 50 years before Ramanathan Krishnan's historic runs to the semifinals at the All England Club in 1960 and 1961.

In 1905, during the 29th edition of The Championships, the men's singles draw featured B. Nehru, an Indian origin player who symbolised Great Britain. Nehru secured a bye in the first round but gave a walkover to comrade Robert Hough in the second round for unknown reasons. Nevertheless, he competed in the now-defunct Wimbledon Plate (for players who lost in the first or second rounds) and reached the third round.

Sirdar Nihal Singh became the first Indian man to play at Wimbledon in 1908. He lost a close first-round contest 11-9, 6-2, 6-4 to local player Herbert Wilson Fox. The following year, Singh again fell in the first round, but managed to record India's first achievement at the grass Major by winning 6-2, 6-4 against Louis Trasenster of Belgium in the opening round of the Plate tournament.

Indian depiction in women's singles began in 1929, 45 years after the category was introduced at the tournament. Jenny Sandison participated in singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles in 1929-30. She locked in two wins, both in the women's doubles event.

India at Wimbledon: A look At History, Records and Titles
Credits - Olympics

The first main draw wins in singles for India were recorded by Hassan-Ali Fyzee in the men's category in 1910 and Leela Row Dayal in the women's category in 1934.

Ramanathan Krishnan is one of the most celebrated Indian players at Wimbledon. In 1960 and 1961, he reached the semifinals, making him the first Indian to gain such a feat at Wimbledon. His refined and graceful playing style and enthralling performance on grass courts earned him a revered place in Indian tennis history.

In the 1970s, Vijay Amritraj and his brother Anand Amritraj became distinguished figures at Wimbledon. Vijay Amritraj reached the quarterfinals in 1973 and 1981, representing his powerful serve and volley game. He was known for his allure and magnetism, contributing to India's growing presence in international tennis.

Trailblazers and Milestones: India’s Rich Legacy at Wimbledon

The 1990s saw another Indian star rise at Wimbledon—Leander Paes. Known for his doubles competence, Paes won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title three times (1999, 2003, and 2010) and the men's doubles title in 1999. Paes's success on the grass courts of Wimbledon cemented his status as one of India's greatest tennis players.

Mahesh Bhupathi, Paes's frequent partner, also found success at Wimbledon. Together, they formed one of the most daunting doubles teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Bhupathi won the mixed doubles title at Wimbledon in 2002 and 2005.

India at Wimbledon: A look At History, Records and Titles
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Sania Mirza, another notable Indian player, has made substantial contributions to India's tennis legacy at Wimbledon. She won the women's doubles title in 2015 and the mixed doubles title in 2009 and 2012. Mirza's powerful baseline game and amazing net skills have made her a force to be considered with in doubles.

While India has not yet produced a singles champion at Wimbledon, the country's players have consistently performed well, especially in doubles and mixed doubles. India's journey at Wimbledon is an evidence to the nation's growing tennis talent and its resilience to the sport.

From the early 20th century to the present day, Indian players have left a long lasting mark on the history of Wimbledon. As the country continues to nurture and develop its tennis talent, the dream of an Indian singles champion at Wimbledon remains alive and well.

Cover Credits - Olympics

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