Tennis in India is governed by the All India Tennis Association or AITA which was established in the year 1920. It is noteworthy to mention that over the years, the Indian Davis Cup Team has been the most successful Davis Cup Team all across Asia finishing as runner-up on three occasions in 1966, 1974 and 1987. Indian teams over the years have beaten the likes of Spain, Belgium, and the Netherlands in Davis Cup encounters.
Mohammad Ghaus was the first Indian tennis superstar who made it to the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon Championships in 1939 only to lose to eventual champion Bobby Riggs. From the 1960s, Indian tennis started to make rapid strides with the likes of Ramanathan Krishnan, Jaidip Mukerjea and SP Mishra winning laurels both at the individual level and at the team level, especially in Davis Cup matches. In the 1970's it was the turn of the Amritraj brothers, Sashi Menon and Jasjit Singh who took over the mantle.
The 1980s saw the emergence of Ramesh Krishnan, a second generation tennis player. Later, it was the likes of Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza who have made the country proud by winning Grand Slams. The impetus on carrying forward Indian tennis lies in the hands of youngsters like Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Adil Kalyanpur, Sumit Nagal, Saketh Myneni, Yuki Bhambri and Ramkumar Ramanathan.
We dive into the history books and take a look at 10 of the best Indian tennis players of all-time:
Note: The order in which the names appear is not indicative of the scale of ranking.
Florida born Delhi lad, Yuki Bhambri made headlines in the late 2000's when he became the Junior World Number 1. He won the 2009 Australian Open Junior Championship. Coming from a family of tennis players, which include his siblings Ankita, Sanaa and Prerna, Yuki took to tennis at the tender age of 6. Sporadic Challenger trophy wins and a double medal tally at the 2014 Asian Games followed his rise to the Junior World Number 1 ranking in 2009. Having made the Australian Open main draw in 2015, Yuki cracked the Top 100 for the first time in October that year. His career-best ranking of 88 came in November 2015. 2016 and 2017 saw him slip out of the top 100 owing to a string of injuries. 2018 was a good year for Yuki as he qualified for the main draw of the French Open and Wimbledon for the first time and beat the likes of World Number 12 Lucas Pouille. Still only 26, Yuki will look to come good in 2019.