Saturday, June 24, 2006

Tennis: Wimbledon coming up, Can Indians make any impression?

Sania Mirza, after creating so much ripples in the Tennis world last year, is playing average tennis this whole year. Her best achievement this year is reaching the third round in the DFS Classic in Birmingham. She is currently ranked No. 38 in singles and No. 31 in doubles. She is drawn to face the Russian 7th seed Elena Dementieva in the first round. In doubles, she is partnering with Michaela Krajicek of Netherlands, ranked No. 58 in doubles. They will play against the pair of Stephanie Foretz (France)/ Antonella Serra zanetti (Italy) in the first round. Last year, Sania reached the second round in singles. Can she better that record? Let us hope she does that for Indian tennis.

Mahesh Bhupathi partners with Alexander Waske of Germany and they are seeded No. 13. They will face the unseeded pair of Frederic Niemeyer (Canade)/ Glenn Weiner (USA) in the first round. Mahesh has won the Wimbledon doubles in that GOLDEN year 1999 with Leander Paes, when Leander and Mahesh made history by reaching the finals of all the grand slams. After that, Mahesh ended as runner up in the year 2003.

Leander Paes is playing with Martin Damm of Czech Republic and they are seeded No. 7. They play the unseeded pair of Janko Tipsarevic (Serbia and Montenegro)/ Mikhail Youzhny (Russia) in the first round. After that memorable triumph in 1999, Leander's best year is 2003 when he reached the semi-finals (What a coincidence, Mahesh' best performance also in the same year). What if only they continued to stay together as doubles partners? (Hmm... What a great loss to Indian tennis?)

The mixed doubles draw is not out yet. Since 1995, the Indians had been on the winning stage for 4 times out of 7 times. Leander/ Lisa Raymond in 1999, Mahesh/ Likhovtseva in 2003, Leander/ Martina Navratilova in 2004 and Mahesh/ Mary Pierce in 2005. Add to that the runners-up performance by Mahesh/ M. Lucic in 1998. Thats a great performance by the two giants of Indian tennis.

Lets hope that the Indians do well in this year's Wimbledon. For the latest news, visit The official web site of Wimbledon 2006


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