Indian Tennis Players: A tribute to Nirupama Sanjeev – India’s first tennis legend

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Nirupama Sanjeev India tennis legend – The first Indian woman tennis player to win a Grand Slam match, Nirupama Sanjeev is one of the greatest tennis players this country has ever produced. Having secured a career-high ranking of Indian No.1 in Women’s Tennis during the Australian Open held in 1998, she defeated Italy’s Gloria Pizzichini and entered her name into the indelible pages of history. Her glory is not limited to this as she also won the Bronze Medal at the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games along with Indian Tennis Star Mahesh Bhupathi in the Mixed Doubles category.

nirupama sanjeev india tennis legend

Another one of her wonderful feats includes entering the top 200 World Singles Ranking for Women, making her the first Indian to achieve that. The former World no. 134 set her foot into the world of tennis at a young age of five and is grateful to her brother for all the motivation. The reason behind her fame is that she was the top player at a time when our country had no quality women representatives at the international stage.

Nirupama Sanjeev India tennis legend

Born in the town of Coimbatore, Nirupama secured her first feat, the Under 14 National title at a young age of 13. She entered the Professional Tennis career at the age of 18 under coach David O Meara. Nirupama went on to become one of the greatest tennis players of all time, securing the honor of being a triple Gold Medalist at the SAF Games in 1995. She displayed her phenomenal skills and was able to conquer the matches against top players at that time including Magdalena Maleeva, Sylvia Plischke, Mirjana Lučić-Baroni, Wynne Prakusya, and Janet Lee. Apart from beating these top world players during her WTA tour, she also secured medals at the Asian Games and played the Sydney Olympic Games 2000.

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After becoming the first woman to win Grand Slam Singles round match, her game and confidence significantly improved and she went on to win the finalist award at the ITF $75K Albuquerque event in 1999. After having a successful and dominating career, she retired in 2003.

Nirupama Sanjeev India tennis legend

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She returned to play the Commonwealth Games 2010 which was held in India and the Asian Games in Guangzhou. Her autobiography “The Moonballer” which was released in 2013 gives an account of her journey as an Indian woman tennis player in the 1990s. She is certainly as inspiration for generations to come.

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