It has been 25 years since Indian legend Ramesh Krishnan pulled off that amazing victory against World No. 1 Mats Wilander at the 1989 Australian Open. Ranked as high as 23rd in the world, the former Davis Cup finalist reached three Grand Slam quarterfinals – twice at the US Open and once at Wimbledon. The Padma Shri winner shares his thoughts on Indian tennis and more in a chat with Sportskeeda:
How would you rate India’s chances against Korea in the Davis Cup?
I do not know much about the Korean team. I would expect them to be as tough as the Taiwan team that we just played. Plus this time around, we have to play in Korea. Home court is a big advantage in Davis Cup. History also shows that Korea has had a good record against India. I feel it is a tough game but we have a chance if we play well.
Do you think Leander Paes was justified in pulling out of the Davis Cup?
Leander has certainly put in his bit as far as representing India (is concerned). So if he feels he wants some time off from national duty, he is entitled to it.
How do you see India’s future in tennis, both on the men’s and the women’s side?
We need to have more numbers coming through. Ideally, I would like to see at least two boys and girls in the draws of Grand Slam junior tournaments. I think that is a good starting point. As far as women are concerned, I thought more girls would come through after Sania Mirza. We have not capitalised on the interest she created.
What are your thoughts on the IPTL – the tennis league developed by Mahesh Bhupathi?
The idea is similar to what we see in cricket. It is to be seen how it plays out in tennis. I believe there is a small league played out in Pune each year in January for a week. Seems to be going on well.
Things are never the same for long. As far as the Big 4 are concerned, Federer and Murray are out of the top 4 in the latest rankings. While Murray is on a comeback trail post surgery, time seems to be catching up with Federer. Having said that, a few years ago, the Big 4 reached the last four in all four Majors. I don’t know whether that was ever done before. We might never see that again. That was unique.