Although Indian Tennis Players have not brought the much coveted Davis Cup to their homeland, they have been putting up a commendable performance in the competitions of the Cup. Despite the lack of higher-ranked players in its roster, Indian flag has been flying high in Davis Cup tournament, thanks to some inspiring displays driven by the national pride. In its debut appearance, India caused a sensation by steamrolling the mighty French en route, to the semi final. Since then, India has been able to hold her own against more fancied nations, riding on flashes of individual brilliance. In this article, we have discussed about India's performance in Davis Cup, so far.
Indian Performance in Davis Cup Competition
In the 1960s, India managed to become the Zonal Champions time and again, and played the Inter - Zonal finals as well.
The year 1966 is remarkable in the history of tennis in India, because the Indian players reached the Davis Cup finals, when Ramanathan Krishnan teamed with Premjit Lal, S. P. Misra and Jaidip Mukherjea. Even though they lost the Cup, the Krishnan and Mukerjea duo proved to be a nightmare for the Wimbledon Champions New Combe and Tony Roche (1965), in the Doubles event.
In 1974, India, possessing an awesome double pair in Vijay and Anand Amritraj, made it to the Davis Cup final, for the second time. Despite being in contention for the coveted title, India refused to play their opponent South Africa, in protest of the racist colonial rule prevailing in the latter.
The 1980s saw the emergence of Ramesh Krishnan, who played a pivotal role in steering India to its third Davis Cup final, by beating the Aussie player - Wally Masur - in straight sets.
Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi paired up to represent India at the Davis Cup held in 2004. The pair secured two ties.
Indian Players in Davis Cup
Till date India has produced lots of tennis talents. They have given Indian tennis a new height. The Davis cup top players have dazzled the world tennis while getting the world's recognitions. The Davis cup top players have therefore added maturity to this game. The players who had performed well in Davis Cup are as follows:-
Vijay Amritraj - Vijay Amritraj, a notable player of Indian tennis was born on December, 14,1953 Amritraj had an impressive record. In 1974, Vijay Amritraj teamed up with Shashi Menon, Jasjit Singh and brother Anand Amritraj, to take India to the Davis Cup final for the second time.
Ramesh Krishnan - He became India's Davis Cup captain in January 2007. He was part of the Indian Davis Cup team that lost to Sweden in 1987, but played a crucial role in the team reaching the final when he won the decisive rubber against Australia.
Jaideep Mukherjee - He was another famous Davis Cup player who made his Davis Cup debut against Indonesia at Bangkok in 1960. He along with Ramanath Krishnan and Premjit Lal formed deadly trio in Davis Cup. The biggest success of him in Davis cup was back in the year 1966 in kolkata. Jaideep also played wonderfully for the Indian Davis Cup team. He made his debut in Davis Cup against Indonesia at Bangkok in 1960. He represented India in the Davis Cup for quite a long period of 13 years and during this period; he played 97 rubbers in 43 ties. Jaideep Mukherjee, Premjit Lall and Ramanathan Krishnan formed a deadly combination during that period and they were renamed the 'three musketeers', for their excellence. They took India to the inter-zone finals for four times, from 1960-63 and also in 1968. They also played brilliantly to help India reaching the Davis Cup Challenge round finals for the first time, against the Australians.
Jasjit Singh - He became the first Sikh to play for the India Davis Cup team when he was selected in the side during the 1974 Davis Cup. His first appearance was a loss to Japan's Toshiro Sakai in a dead rubber, as India had already secured the tie. India then faced the Australian team in the Eastern Zone final and Jasjit was chosen ahead of Anand Amritraj to play the first singles rubber. In front of a Calcutta crowd, Singh managed to beat his Australian opponent Bob Giltinan in four sets, to give India a 1-0 lead.
Premjit Lall - He first played for India in the Davis Cup in 1958-59, when he replaced Naresh Kumar who had to return home following bereavement. He was also a four-time national singles champion. The Kolkatan, who first caught the eye when he entered the Wimbledon Junior final in 1958, played in the Davis Cup between 1959 and 1973. He was bestowed with the country's highest sports honour, the Arjuna Award, in 1967. Lall's Davis Cup record was impressive as he won 34 singles matches and lost 20 while winning 24 doubles matches while losing 12, mostly in partnership with Jaideep Mukerjea or Ramanathan Krishnan.
Present Davis Cup Players in India
Since the year 2014, the Davis Cup players include Somdev Devvarman, Yuki Bhambri, Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna. With the amount of experience the players have, they are expected to do well in this year’s Davis Cup tie.
(Last Updated on : 15-03-2016)