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21st Century Champs: Indians in Grand Slam

French-open-india

India won their first Grand Slam title at the French open in 1997, in the Mixed Doubles. Since the Indians have won Grand Slam titles in the Mixed Doubles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles besides Girls; Doubles events. Yet no Indian has so far won a Grand Slam Singles title in the Men’s or Women’s category.

Tennis had for long been considered a sport for the elite, till the likes of Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupati, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna took to the court. The four most renowned Grand Slammers are:

Kolkatan Slammer: LEANDER PAES

LEANDER-PAES-wordhazardLeander Paes the most successful Indian on the circuit, has 14 Grand Slam titles to his name- 8 in the Men’s Doubles category and 6 in the Mixed Doubles.
Soon after, he shifted his focus to doubles and his partnership with fellow Indian Mahesh Bhupathi proved to be an envious combination. Paes did a double whammy at Wimbledon the same year, winning both the Mixed Doubles and the men's doubles with Bhupathi.The Indian Express later won the French Open in 2001.
The player who has earned respect from the world in his career spanning 24 years, is currently in search of a Career Slam in Mixed Doubles, with only a victory at the clay courts of Paris missing.

Tamizh Slammer : MAHESH BHUPATI

mahesh-bhupathi-wordhazardThe 2nd most successful tennis player from India, Mahesh Bhupathi has 12 Majors to boast of and he is also the first Indian to bring home a Grand Slam, when he won the French Open Mixed Doubles Event in 1997 with Rika Hiraki.
Bhupathi has had more success in the mixed doubles- winning 8 of his 12 Slams in the event. 3 of his 4 Men’s Doubles wins have been with Paes, while the 4th one (a win at the Arthur Ashe stadium) was way back in 2002 with Max Mirnyi. However, over the years, Bhupathi has emerged runners up on 6 occasions in the doubles competition.
He was won 8 mixed doubles titles with 7 different partners over the years- combining with fellow Indian Sania Mirza twice to win the Australian Open in 2009 (also Mirza’s first Grand Slam victory) and the French Open in 2012.

Hyderabadi Slammer : SANIA MIRZA

Sania-mirza-wordhazard

The lone Indian woman tennis player to make a name on the world stage reached a career high ranking of no. 27 in the world in 2007 and has singles wins over Svetlana Kuznetsova, Martina Hingis, Marion Bartoli, Victoria Azarenka amongst others to her name.
The 27 year old won her first Grand Slam in 2009, partnering Bhupathi in Melbourne. Her partnership with Bhupathi worked wonders again in 2012 .The most recent addition to her tally came in the just concluded US Open, where she partnered Brazilian Bruno Soares to emerge victorious.

Bangalorean Slammer : ROHAN BOPANNA

Rohan-Bopana-wordhazard

Rohan Bopanna is an Indian professional tennis player. His singles career high ranking was World No. 213 in 2007 and his career high ranking in doubles was World No. 3 on 22 July 2013.
Recently, most of his appearances in professional tournaments have been in doubles matches. He is a member of the Indian Davis Cup team since 2002. He won the 2017 French Open – Mixed Doubles title with Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada becoming the fourth Indian player to win a Grand Slam title.

In the end,some life wisdom from the master slammer herself,

“Grand Slam losses are hard. I treat myself after losses though, I usually go to McDonald’s
and I have a hamburger and you know, something. Because you know, you just need to be
nice to yourself sometimes after the loss.”
-Venus Williams

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” He who knows the fire that is within himself shall ascend unto the eternal fire and dwell in it eternal. ” -The Emerald Tablets A normal, unassuming college going ephebe who has a flair for searching bliss in Antiquity, generally in written form. Mythology, History, Indology, Cultural Anthropology, Architecture, Thoth in flesh and bones, a trivia buff always ready to learn and grow, firmly believes in -- if you want to change the masses for good, educe them instead of inducing them.
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