Mahesh Bhupathi happy with Indian tennis' depth, hails youngsters

Prajnesh Gunneswaran is the highest ranked Indian just outside the top-100 at 104, followed by Ramkumar Ramanathan at 133 and Yuki Bhambri at 137.

Published: 04th December 2018 06:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th December 2018 06:17 PM   |  A+A-

Davis Cup non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi (File Photo | EPS/D Sampathkumar)


NEW DELHI: Davis Cup non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi on Tuesday said Indian tennis has an unprecedented depth in its talent pool and it's headed in the right direction.

"The depth we have today we have never had. Prajnesh, Yuki, Ram and many more right behind them are doing well. India hasn't had this kind of talent pool before in the men's team," Bhupathi said at a KIA Motors event where 10 young tennis fans of the country were selected as ball kids for the Australian Open in January.

For the first time India has three men in the top-150 in the world rankings.

Prajnesh Gunneswaran is the highest ranked Indian just outside the top-100 at 104, followed by Ramkumar Ramanathan at 133 and Yuki Bhambri at 137.

"In the women's team, Harman and Ankita have made a nice run in towards the last part of the season. The results are very positive," Bhupathi added.

Ankita Raina, ranked 213 in the world, and world number 218 Karman Thandi won two back-to-back titles recently.

They first clinched their career's maiden WTA doubles title in Taipei before uniting to win the Pune Open.

Bhupathi also said investment from the corporate sector was required in Indian tennis.

"For any sport, creating a culture in India comes from corporate support and we have seen that with all the medallist who have been supported by an OGQ or a JSW," he said.

The four-time men's doubles Grand Slam winner also said initiatives like the one taken by Kia Motors help in promoting a tennis culture in the country.

Five kids from Delhi and one each from Mumbai, Chandigarh, Haryana, Hyderabad and Lucknow, including four girls, have been selected to represent India as the Official Kia Ball Kids for the Australian Open 2019.

Bhupathi played a key role in shortlisting 100 boys and girls across the country, before taking up the mantle of mentoring them.

The initiative, brought to India for the first time, witnessed staggering participation, with over 2,000 young tennis enthusiasts from across the country taking part.

The kids selected were selected are: Ankit Pillania (St Thomas School, Bahadurgarh), Jennika Jaison (St Joseph School, Mumbai), Sarthak Gandhi (Strawberry Fields High School, Chandigarh), M Varshith Kumar Reddy (St.

John's High School, Hyderabad), Naman Mehta (LA Martiniere Boys, Lucknow).

The first set of trials were conducted across four metros -- Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

They were put through five rounds of tests, including Rolling the Ball, Speed and Agility test, Spider Drill, Throwing the Ball and Communication skills.


Stay up to date on all the latest Tennis news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp