Indian Tennis: 2016 in Review
How was 2016 for India's tennis players? Here's a look back.
For Indian Tennis, 2016 turned out to be an agonizing tale of missed opportunities. While there were quite a few high points as well, they were largely overshadowed by disappointing events that unfolded throughout the course of the year.
Let us take a closer look at how the season turned out to be for our players , and what fans have to look forward to in the 2017 seasons!
The Doubles Stars
Sania Mirza continued to make the country proud, as she completed a mind boggling 80 weeks as World No.1. She's been at the top since April 2015, and although she was in danger of losing the top spot after bowing out in the semi-finals of the WTA Year-Ending Championships in Singapore, other results going her way meant that she managed to end the season as World No.1.
She also underwent a split with Martina Hingis, thus ending the much celebrated alliance, which was lovingly called "Santina" by fans. The split was not before the duo completed a hat-trick of Grand Slams when they won the Australian Open earlier this year, after winning Wimbledon & US Open last season.
Post the split, Sania joined forces with Barbora Strycova, & seemed to have immediately struck a rapport with her as well, winning two titles at the fag end of the season. Their performance will be closely monitored come the new season.
While Sania continued to bring laurels to the country, age finally seems to be catching up with the evergreen Leander and a much younger-but-still-old Rohan Bopanna. While Bopanna has managed to stay in the top 30 at the end of the season, Paes' ranking seems to be in free fall, as he had to resort to playing Challenger events, after having slipped out of the top 50.
At the Olympics, the duo had a forgettable outing in the Men's Doubles event, after a war-of-words before the event, even as the Mirza-Bopanna pairing missed out on a medal by a whisker in the Mixed Doubles, as they lost the Bronze Medal playoff match.
With the dwindling careers of Bopanna and Paes, the only bright spot this year in the men’s doubles was the new emerging pairing of Divij Sharan and Purav Raja, who have garnered impressive results on the ATP Challenger Tour this year, and hope to be a force to reckon with at the Tour events and Slams next year.
Also a special mention to Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan for breaking the top 100 barrier for the first time this year.