Advantage Tennis 2019

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RNI Regn. No. DELENG 10225

Vol. 22, 2019

The Djoker is Back

Novak Djokovic Greatness Unlimited

Roger Federer Sports Kinesiology The Rafa Nadal Academy Exclusive interviews

Rohan Bopanna Divij Sharan



Vol. 22 2019

Rs. 100

Contents Editorial 3 Player of the Year: Male 4 Player of the Year: Female 5 ROGER FEDERER: Greatness Unlimited Deepti Patwardhan 6 The Greatest Rivalries in Tennis Bhagya Iyyavoo 11 AT Tennis Trivia Jaisal Sood 17 Tennis Moms Rohinee Iyer 18 NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The Djoker is Back Shreya Chakravertty 23 Sports Kinesiology The Rafa Nadal Academy 28 HYEON CHUNG: The Rising Star from Korea Priyansh 30 Poster: Naomi Osaka 32 Who is the Greatest Asian Tennis Player? Sharmistha Chaudhuri 36 NAOMI OSAKA takes Centre Stage Shreya Chakravertty 41 ROHAN BOPANNA: Flying the Flag An Interview 45 A Switch to Gold for BOPANNA-SHARAN Bhagya Iyyavoo 49 DIVIJ SHARAN: An Interview 52 WTA Rankings 56 ATP Rankings 57 2018 WTA Tour Final Results 58 2018 ATP Tour Final Results 59 WTA Tour Calendar 2019 60 ATP Tour Calendar 2019 61 AITA Tour Calendar 2019 62 AITA Rankings 63 AT Photo Gallery 64 Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

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Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019


Welcome to another issue of Advantage Tennis. I hope that you enjoy reading this issue as much as you have enjoyed reading our earlier issues. As always, we have tried to improve our magazine content and quality with every new issue. Advantage Tennis is devoted to the cause of promoting and encouraging tennis as a sport in India by providing a high quality magazine at an affordable price. We hope that we have been able to provide you with a magazine worth its cause. We look forward to your continued readership and association with Advantage Tennis in the years to come. This issue includes some excellent articles including ‘Roger Federer: Greatness Unlimited’ which discusses Federer as one of the greatest players ever to play the game. ‘Ten Greatest Rivalries’ in tennis is another interesting article which highlights some of the top rivalries in the modern era. ‘Tennis Moms’ talks about the challenges that women tennis players face of juggling a career with motherhood. Tennis has been dominated by only a handful of players over the last decade. Novak Djokovic is one of them. ‘The Djoker is Back’ is an article on the great competitor that is Novak Djokovic. In this issue we have also covered some of Asia’s top players. Hyeon Chung of Korea is the rising Asian star and Naomi Osaka of Japan has just created history by becoming only the second singles Grand Slam winner from Asia by winning the U.S. Open title 2018. Our poster this year is Naomi Osaka as we wanted to showcase the rise in the achievements of Asian players. With the rise in the popularity of tennis in Asia, there have been a number of milestones

achieved by Asian players. To further elaborate on this topic an interesting article titled ‘Who is the Greatest Asian Tennis Player?’ is also featured in this issue. On the Indian front we have two exclusive interviews with Asian games Gold medalists and Doubles specialists Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan. Their achievement at the Asian games has been covered in the At the US Open article A Switch to Gold for Bopanna–Sharan. The Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy is one of the best coaching centres in the world based out of Spain and has contributed an important article on ‘Sports Kinesiology’. Novak Djokovic is our choice for the Men’s Player of the Year. He ended the year as the world No.1. Djokovic has won 72 ATP titles in his career At the Australian Open including 14 Grand Slam titles. He has held the No.1 spot in My letter would not be complete the ATP rankings for more than 200 without mentioning the following weeks overall in his career. In 2018, people for their support and belief in he won Wimbledon and the US Open Advantage Tennis. I would like to thank and returned as the No.1 player in the Kamesh Srinivasan, Janella Rachel, world. Simona Halep is our choice for Bhagya Iyyavoo, Shreya Chakravertty, the Women’s Player of the Year. She Rohinee Iyer, Priyansh, Deepti became the world’s No.1 player in Patwardhan, Sharmistha Chaudhuri, 2018, a ranking she first achieved in Aman Jaiswal, Ashish Anand, Aseem October 2017. She has won 18 singles and Divya Chauhan, Sunit Kumar Jain, titles in her career including the French Harinder Singh, Amit & Saket Dalmia, Open singles title in 2018. Kailash Chander, Rajinder Arora, my The 2019 AITA, WTA and ATP parents, husband Amit Sood and my calendars and Top 50 singles and sons Jaisal & Arman. doubles rankings of the ATP, WTA, and AITA have been provided for the avid tennis followers. ‘AT Trivia’ is also included in this issue for all our readers who are interested in testing their Priya Nanki Singh Sood knowledge on tennis. Editor-in-Chief

Vol. 22, 2019 Rs. 100 Advantage Tennis is edited and published by Priya Nanki Singh Sood from the First Floor, Eros Cinema Building, Jangpura Extension, New Delhi 110014 India, Tel: 011 4308 4871. All rights reserved. Reproduction without written permission of the author/editor/publisher is strictly prohibited. Advantage Tennis invites tennis related articles, interviews, news items and photographs for publication, which can be sent to our above given address or to advantagetennis74@gmail.com Designed and printed by ISHTIHAAR, New Delhi. Tel: 011 43583100

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Photos: AT Bureau

Dear Readers,


Player of the Year

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Novak Djokovic

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Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019


Player of the Year

Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Simona halep Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

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OGER FEDERER walked up to the net slowly, on the Miami centre-court. It was almost as if he wanted to give Thanasi Kokkinakis enough time to flash a smile and then roar into the crowd with both fists clenched. This was Federer’s 252nd career loss on the ATP circuit, so he knows the drill well. He was graceful in defeat, giving the young Australian a hug, a pat on the shoulder with a word of congratulations. The match had dragged on for two hours and 21 minutes, but within the next 30 seconds, the Swiss had packed his bag and humbly walked off court. Kokkinakis’ celebration thereafter was justified. On paper, beating a 36-year-old should never be so difficult. It defies logic, especially since the sport is becoming increasingly brutal in its demands for physical conditioning. But this was Roger Federer he had just beaten. A man, who even on days when he’s not hitting the ball well, when he’s almost human, is still a ‘monster.’ It’s a moniker the record 20time Grand Slam champion had coined himself 10 years ago. On that occasion, he’d been upset in the semi-final of the 2008 Australian Open by an upcoming 20-year-old called Novak Djokovic. “Of course, I’ve created a monster,” he’d say. “So I know I need to always win every tournament.” That monster fell dormant, as Federer steadily faded after the high of Wimbledon 2012 – what many thought was his last major title. No longer was he the domineering force, as he’d be overtaken by his long-time rival Nadal, and then Djokovic, and Andy Murray too joined the race to the No. 1 spot. Stan Wawrinka would also stake his claim on three Grand Slams in the process. 6

In January 2016 would come a cruel moment that would spark a crucial decision six months later. Federer slipped and hurt his knee while preparing a bath for one of his sets of twins. He’d gamble the readiness of his body by coming back too soon, and then crash out in the semi-final of Wimbledon. That was the last that was seen of him that year. Those six months though gave back to him more than it took away. And when he returned to the circuit, at the Australian Open in 2017, he brought back the monster that had made him one of the most feared opponents. At that point in time, he was a record 17-time Grand Slam champion and had spent a record 304 weeks as world No. 1 in a career that had started in 1998. He’d been there, done that, had nothing left to prove, and had no reason to continue to struggle on in the tour that can be lonely, frustrating, and even heartbreaking. But now Federer is finding joy in, quite simply, just playing tennis. “I always tell people that when you watch Federer, don’t just watch him play the point. Watch what he does in between points,” former world No. 1 and seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander once said. “He’s always fiddling with a tennis ball or with his racket, and he’s hitting an extra shot, trying some crazy drop shot when the point is over, or flicking the ball to a ball kid after a missed serve. Nobody else does that. Nobody has ever done that. And he still does it. Wimbledon final — it doesn’t matter. He just seems to enjoy the feeling of having the ball on his strings.”

Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

Photo: Fred Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Greatness Unlimited


ROGER FEDERER DEEPTI PATWARDHAN

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In many ways, watching Federer practice exceeds the entertainment value of watching him compete. It is pure play and even more of an improv showcase. Every ball is lathered with gratuitous action, spin for spin’s sake, spin as slapstick, and ... luxuriantly massages every shot as if to prolong the moment of impact and better feel the racket head moving over the ball, string by string. Peter De Jonge wrote in The New York Times

Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

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Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

The genius on court though is a small exhibition of the workmanship off it. His practice sessions itself are a sight to see. “In many ways, watching Federer practice exceeds the entertainment value of watching him compete. It is pure play and even more of an improv showcase,” Peter De Jonge wrote in The New York Times. “Every ball is lathered with gratuitous action, spin for spin’s sake, spin as slapstick, and unlike Nadal, who rips violently upward on his shots to impart an ungodly number of rotations per second to the ball, Federer luxuriantly massages every shot as if to prolong the moment of impact and better feel the racket head moving over the ball, string by string.” There was something still missing though. After 17 majors by 2012, Federer needed to find the formula to what had been keeping him back against the rushing tide of younger players that had steadily been storming past him. He was still a prominent figure on the circuit, but for a player of his calibre, success is measured only in Grand Slam titles, and his tally had run dry. A flaw though had soon been identified on the backhand side. And so in 2013, Federer roped in his idol Stefan Edberg, on whom he had modelled his own one-handed backhand, to work on that very shot. “The biggest improvement has been his backhand, the strength of the backhand,” Edberg said during a recent visit to Mumbai. As glorious as his backhand slice was, there was a need for the Swiss to let loose, get on top and hammer down a one-handed topspin backhand shot (Federer makes that look beautiful too). But he needed an ally to give him confidence in playing that shot. He found it in a bigger racquet head. “He wanted and he needed to make some changes, which was a very brave thing to do. One of the


Photos: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Federer became the oldest man – at 36 years and 195 days – to become world No. 1. It was a spot he occupied for the first time in six years, and 14 years apart from the first time he reached the summit in February 2004.

crucial things was to switch racquets. He was already starting to talk about it but hadn’t made the decision one hundred percent,” said Edberg, who coached Federer for two years. “I was all for it. The equipment today is all different; it’s a racquet that will benefit him. Modern technology: more strength, easier power, that’s what you need to compete with the others. So it was a no-brainer for me.” The changes and improvements could only be tested once he got back on the tour. His first appearance after the injury layoff came at the 2017 Australian Open, when he was ranked 17th in the world. “After seeing all those winners flying off his matte black racket in

the Australian final, I figured that the backhand drive had been the focus of his six-month break from the tour last year,” De Jonge wrote. “Federer insisted that that wasn’t the case and that the primary focus during his layoff was a much humbler backhand, a subtle little block return of serve, hit as early as possible and with just a touch of topspin, that enabled him to start return points more advantageously than his chip or slice and that could be used

against anyone except the biggest of servers.” Steadily, he began picking away his opponents. Tomas Berdych, Kei Nishikori, Stan Wawrinka all fell by the wayside after Federer had dealt each an exhibition of finesse and aggression. All the while, he remained calm. “The break, six months, getting away from tennis, not knowing whether you could get back to the tour again, at the same level. There’s a little bit of a different approach when you get back after a long injury, not too many expectations, whatever happens, happens, if I win fine. So maybe in the mind he was a little bit more relaxed,” Edberg added.

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Nishikori and Wawrinka did stretch him to five sets, and so did Nadal in the marquee final (their first meeting in a Grand Slam final since the 2011 French Open). None could stop him from winning an 18th Slam. In the coming weeks, he’d topple Nadal again, in the finals of both the Indian Wells and Miami Masters – the Sunshine Double. Federer was indeed back, and firing on all cylinders. And then he’d skip the entire clay court season to prepare himself for Wimbledon. “In order to try and play on the ATP World Tour for many years to come, I feel it’s best to skip the claycourt season this year (2017) and prepare for the grass and hardcourt seasons,” he said on his Facebook page. “The start to the year has been magical for me but I need to recognize that scheduling will be the key to my longevity moving forward. Thus, my team and I concluded today that playing just one event on clay was not in the best interest of my tennis and physical preparation for the remainder of the season.” Again, there was no way to prove if the strategy worked till he got to the Wimbledon Championships. Like some in-born intuition, Federer floated seamlessly on the carefully manicured grass courts of Wimbledon. Armed with the bigger racquet head and a strong confidence in his backhand, he didn’t drop a single set enroute to winning a record eight Wimbledon title. By the time 2018 came along, Federer was the world No. 2, and a stern favourite to defend his title. At his age though, he too found the expectations absurd. “With age, I feel like I play down my chances just because I don’t think a 36-year-old should be a favourite of a tournament, it should not be the case,” he said. “That’s why I see things more relaxed, you know, at a later stage of my career.” The monster was well and truly

The Federer family

back, he was expected to win. He played the same way too, winning each and every set till he reached the final against Marin Cilic. The towering Croat had only a few months earlier lost in the Wimbledon final to the Swiss but now had a chance to make amends. He stretched Federer to five sets, but there was a certain inevitability in the way Federer had been playing that past fortnight. In his 30th Grand Slam final, Federer would win his 20th. Two weeks later, in Rotterdam, Federer became the oldest man – at 36 years and 195 days – to become world No. 1. It was a spot he occupied for the first time in six years, and 14 years apart from the first time he reached the summit in February 2004. What makes the achievement even more impressive is that he did it despite missing the entire clay season. He couldn’t hold onto the position for long this time. At the Indian Wells Masters, he lost out to Juan Martin Del Potro in the final. A week later, Kokkinakis dethroned him in Miami. The result though did more Kokkinakis than for Federer. “I’m happy for him that on the big stage he was able to show it, centre

Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

court, Miami, with people watching him beating me, it’s a big result for him in his career. I hope it’s going to launch him,” Federer said in the postmatch press conference. For now, that was the last time the world will see Federer. Until the grass court season. He’s decided to avoid the grinding clay surfaces this year, focusing entirely on preparing for his beloved grass season. It was there after all, that he made his first stride to becoming the GOAT, when he won the Wimbledon title in 2003. While he’s away, Nadal has come back into the picture, raking up the wins on the red dirt. Djokovic has been struggling to find form while Murray is still recovering from hip surgery. Federer too has now taken a step away from the tour, where he’s won 1149 matches to the 252 losses. But it’s away from the circuit that has proven to be a period when he’s most dangerous. It’s a mental game now. His peers on tour know he’s going to come back, they know when he’s coming back, but they don’t know how much stronger he will be when the tour moves to grass. The oldest tennis surface is still Federer’s best canvas.


Ten Greatest Rivalries in Tennis

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BHAGYA IYYAVOO

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

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Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Joe Frazier vs Muhammad Ali in boxing; Cryuff vs Beckenbaeur in football; Tendulkar vs Lara in cricket.

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rand rivalries. Sport has always needed them. Tennis is no exception. Even the one between a Vitas Gerulaitis and Jimmy Connors, which yielded that immortal quote – “Nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 times in a row” – will do. Rivalries offer the theatrics, the life blood, the elixir that make sport throb and thrive. The grandest of these are what elevate sport, turn it into a ‘religion’ with the legions of fans ready to pay obeisance at the altars of the stars they see as their high priests. A look then at ten of tennis’ most memorable rivalries, which underline this immutable fact.

Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal The two grand masters of world tennis, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal clashed for the first time in 2004 on March 27 at the Miami ATP 1000 event. On the left corner was the then 17-year-old Nadal and on the right corner the 22-year-old World No. 1, then the winner of two Grand Slam titles. In the commentators’ words, the teenager, with his brilliant play and punishing groundstrokes, was racing to eclipse the record held by Andy Roddick - of being the first teenager to defeat the No. 1 player on the tour. (Roddick as a 19-year-old had beaten Gustavo Keurten in 2001). Dominating Federer from start to finish, Nadal went on to triumph 6-3 6-3, which at that stage was unsurprisingly the biggest win of his career. The Spaniard was ranked No. 34 at that point of time and had never even won an ATP tour title. 12

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal

Federer in a later interview admitted that at that moment, he knew a new champion was born and that he would go on to challenge him and even replace him at the top. In their nearly 40 meetings (38 when this article was written) since, Federer and Nadal have clashed mostly in the semifinals or the finals, with less than five matches played in the earlier stages. Their 2008 Wimbledon final is considered the best tennis match ever played. Nine of those meetings have come in Grand Slam finals, with Nadal leading 6-3. They’ve won a combined total of 37 Grand Slam titles. With 20 and 17, respectively, Federer and Nadal are No. 1 and No. 2 on the all-time list of men with the most Grand Slam singles titles. Need we say more!

Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic If one goes by the quality of tennis in the match-ups between Nadal and Djokovic, this rivalry challenges the Roger-Rafa and probably even surpasses it. The head-to-head between the two is split almost evenly.

Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

It remains, in the open era, the biggest rivalry in terms of meetings (51 at the time of this article) between two players. Novak played Rafa for the first time when the latter was attempting to win his second Roland Garros title. The newcomer retired after losing the first two sets. It took three meetings for Novak to get the better of Rafa and the confidence was such that he eventually went on to win that title. Suddenly, his backhand turned out to the weapon to counter Rafa’s blistering forehand. The rivalry got intense at the 2010 US Open when Rafa dominated the Serb on his least favourite surface to complete his career grand slam. A few months later at Indian Wells in 2011 marked a turning point. Djokovic began dominating the encounters, winning 19 of the 28 matches played since. The 2012 Australian Open final saw their rivalry being sealed as one of the greatest in tennis history. The title clash turned out to be a five-set thriller lasting a record breaking 5 hours 53 minutes


where each point was competed at the highest level before Djokovic prevailed. In the end, both players admitted that it was the best tennis they had ever played. Another memorable match was the 2013 semi-final clash between the two at Roland Garros, termed by one the game’s greatest Bjorn Borg as the greatest clay encounter ever by. This rollercoaster five-set thriller sealed Nadal’s eighth French Open title. Four years earlier, in the semis of the 2009 Madrid Masters, Nadal had won a grueling encounter by saving three match points in the process. The match, at 4 hours and 3 minutes, was the longest three-set singles match on the ATP World Tour in the Open Era (later surpassed by the Olympic semifinal between Federer and Del Potro in 2012).

Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi

Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova In women’s tennis, there has never been a rivalry to match that involving the two best friends Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. This baseliner versus volleyer story, a clear clash of dialects is still tagged as a unique tennis duet by the game’s faithfuls. The two played each other an incredible 80 times between 1973 and 1988, including 60 finals in 16 years of which 14 were at Grand Slams. I knew I needed to get to No. 1, and for that I needed to beat Chris, and for that I needed to do some things a lot better, Navratilova later recalled. Between passing shots, steely glares, acrobatic volleys and emotional meltdowns, the two had great respect for each other. “From the first time I appeared on the tour, I got the feeling she

Pete Sampras and Andre Aggasi Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

The first contest between the two Americans dates back to the days when they were not even teenagers. In a junior tournament in the suburbs of Los Angeles, Agassi beat his one-year junior Sampras, who only came up to his chin then, 6-1 7-6. I was 7 and he was 8. Andre was this crazy guy from Vegas. I believe he took me down, Sampras later recalled. Nearly, 40 years later, this iconic rivalry is still remembered fondly by millions of fans with the 1995 US Open final remaining one of the top highlights of their career. Their contrasting styles of play made this rivalry ‘iconic’. Agassi’s clean ball-striking and lightning reflexes helping him combat Sampras’ power and precision and his inimitable net game. The biggest rivalry in American tennis in the 1990s led the two to become world number ones and multiple Grand Slams.

“Pete and I were both opposite kind of players which meant for some all-court style tennis,” Agassi remembered. Sampras with a 20-14 lead in the overall head-to-head and a 4-1 advantage in major finals, including a trio of US Open wins, leads Agassi 6-3 in Grand Slam events. Everything about his game just forced me to raise my level. He was the best player I played in my career and I played a lot of great players but he was a very special one, Sampras said later. ‘One of us was trying to impose our game on the other at all times. I always went on the court knowing I had to play well but even if I did, I had no say in how the match was gonna go. I could get my wins here and there but he was the only guy I ever played where I felt I could play my best tennis and still lose’ was Agassi’s memory.

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Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

honestly felt bad when I lost and happy when I won,” Martina wrote in her autobiography. Evert, the baseliner who dominated clay courts, contested Grand Slam finals a record 34 times. However, when it came to their rivalry head-to-head, it was the lefthanded Czech who led with 43 wins. Evert had to be content winning the other 37of their 80 meetings! Navratilova, at her best, was better than Evert at her best, she later said.

John McEnroe vs Bjorn Borg Challenging rivalries bring out a sportsman’s best and at times their worst. Bjorn Borg, the first man in the open era to win 11 Grand Slam singles titles retired at the age of 26, less than two years after his first major final with John McEnroe. The tennis sensation of the mid 1970s walked out of the game after his final loss to McEnroe at the 1981 US Open, a major trophy he never won despite reaching four finals. The quiet emotionless Swede found his Challenger in the boisterous American in the early 1980s. There were only 14 duels between Borg and Johnny Mac. Their rivalry was best described as that between ‘fire and ice’. The duo clashed in four major championships and McEnroe won three out of the four, but every point they contested had their rivalry written all over it.

Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert

Both were contrasting personalities. Edberg was an introvert while Becker the exact opposite. Despite their contrasting playing styles, they had their similarities. Both were serve and volleyers. The two met 35 times in their careers with Becker winning more than he lost as their head-tohead reads 25-10.

Steffi Graf vs Monica Seles This is a rivalry that left tennis fans wondering what it could have been had it lasted longer. Steffi Graf, tennis’ supreme Steffi Graf and Monica Seles

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Photo: Fred Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg This rivalry of the mid ‘80s and early ‘90s was the one that inspired Federer to choose tennis. Three of their four major clashes were Wimbledon Championships finals. Between Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg it was never personal, just tennis. Despite the fact that out of their 35 meetings, 25 were in semifinals or finals.

athlete, found the going tough when up against this teenaged Yugoslavian. Seles, a relentless ball-striker and a grunting left-hander, arrived on the Grand Slam scene in 1989 and racked up eight grand slam titles by 1993. Three of those titles were won against the German, the most by a teenager in the open era, thus challenging Graf’s supremacy. Seles being stabbed by a loony fan in 1993 ended the rivalry on a sour note and by the time both finished, Graf led their head-to-head 10-5.


Serena Williams vs Maria Sharapova

at the WTA Championships final and the most recent one was a walkover at the French Open this year. Remember, Sharapova to her credit has five Grand Slam titles and has been ranked world No 1 in theworld. But when it came to Serena, she has somehow failed to crack the code.

Andy Roddick vs Roger Federer A one-sided rivalry mainly fuelled by the fans of the two players. Andy Roddick, a multiple major champion, simply couldn’t beat Federer. He lost all eight major tournament encounters, including the 2006 US Open final and three Wimbledon finals – remember the

Venus and Serena Williams

2009 title clash? It’s still hailed as one of the greatest matches of all time that needed a 30-game fifth set, which Roddick lost 16-14. A-Rod came within touching distance of finally clinching an elusive win. But that was not to be.

Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams Photo: Fred Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

When Serena Williams faced her big sister Venus on the other side of the net in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open, it was only the second Grand Slam match of her career. After Venus won 7-6, 6-1 against her 17-year-old sister, she admitted ‘it was weird’ “We’re gonna make a pact and be No. 1 and No. 2 so we only meet in the finals and then we won’t care because we’ll be playing for the title,” she said. Well, they couldn’t stick to that compact. But their professional rivalry has now lasted more than 20 years, with Serena leading the headto-head 17-12. They clashed in five consecutive Grand Slam finals from the 2002 French Open to the 2003 Wimbledon, with Serena winning on all these occasions. Barring the 2008 Wimbledon final when Venus clinched her fifth Wimbledon title, Serena leads the head-to-head 9-2 in Grand Slam finals alone. That Garbine Muguruza (2017 Wimbledon) and Martinal Hingis (1997 US Open) are the only two women to beat Venus in a major final besides Serena highlights what might have been if the younger sister had not been in the way!

Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Williams vs Williams

Roger Federer and Andy Roddick Photo: Fred Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

When the Williams sisters were dominating women’s tennis, a 17-year-old Russian shocked the world by beating the younger Williams, that too in the final of the 2004 Wimbledon Championships. But Serena has hit back and how! Serena 19 – Sharapova 3. It’s called the hypothetical rivalry for a reason. Only Serena can tell us what happened after that Wimbledon defeat as in the years that followed. The American got the better of Sharapova in 17 straight matches. The only other win Sharapova managed came Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

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Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

COMPILED BY JAISAL SOOD

Q. 1 Andy Murray defeated a former world No.1 in the San Jose final in 2006 to win his first ATP singles title. Who was it? Q. 2 Rankings were first introduced in 1973.Who was the first man to hold the No.1 position? Q. 3 Who is the youngest men’s Grand Slam Singles champion in the Open Era? Q. 4 Who has been the youngest female player to break into the WTA top 10 rankings? Q. 5 “Grass is for cows”. Which former world No.1 once said this? Q. 6 What is the line that is parallel to the net and furthest away from the net called?

Q. 7 How many singles Grand Slam titles did Steffi Graf win in her career? Q. 8 When the score is 40-40, what is it otherwise called? Q. 9 Which year was the first Wimbledon Championship held and who won it? Q. 10 The French Open has another name which is named after a pioneering French aviator and fighter pilot during World War 1. What is it? Q. 11 Who was the first Indian to win a Grand Slam title? Q. 12 How many Grand Slam titles has Sania Mirza won?

Answers: 1. Lleyton Hewitt

2. Ilie Nastase

3. Michael Chang

4. Jennifer Capriati

5. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario

6. Base Line

7. Twenty two

8. Deuce

9. Spencer Gore in 1877

10. Roland Garros

11. Mahesh Bhupathi

12. Six

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Tennis

MOMS ROHINEE IYER

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Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019


In the last few years, there have been several instances – both welldocumented and lesser-known – about female tennis players making a professional comeback post-pregnancy. This, in itself, is an extension of the previously-sporadic presence of women tennis players who chose to prioritise their careers as they saw fit even as they balanced their personal lives.

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“...the news was revealed accidentally by Williams, it raised surprise among many that Williams had played the first Major of the year at eight weeks pregnant.”

ames such as Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, however, seem to be perceived now with some disconnect even with the heft of history backing their professional resume, both before and after their pregnancies. This is especially true in case of GoolagongCawley who not only had rejoined the sport, but had also become the first woman to win a Major as a mother at Wimbledon in 1980. While her record was eventually broken by Kim Clijsters at the 2009 US Open, in a way it still remains intact in that the Australian remains the only mother to have won the Championships. The 2018 edition was, then, the closest that this precipice came to be breached – by Serena Williams, who more than proved a point by reaching the final before eventually losing to Angelique Kerber. The decades spanning Goolagong-Cawley and Williams’ individual presences in the Majors’ finals meandering by way of names like Clijsters and Lindsay Davenport, then, represent the changes in the way the available fitness techniques have evolved and the way the players themselves seek to return to the playing field, fitter and better than before. “I intend to keep exercising for as long as possible while pregnant. I want the baby to be healthy and for that you need a healthy life,” Williams had said in one of her interviews while being pregnant with her daughter Olympia. She had also stated, “Also, when I come back to tennis it’ll be better if I’ve kept as fit

as possible all the way through the pregnancy rather than having to lose a lot of weight afterwards in order to get fit again. Eating healthily is a must, but being healthy is a lifestyle.” There are several exercises that are prescribed for new mothers to get their bodies in shape after they have given birth. These include a range of activities from mini-crunches to squats to seated knee abduction and even assisted heel-drops. However, in order to be able to carry out these exercises, it’s important that the woman has had been exercising right throughout her pregnancy. In an article published in the Telegraph, Laura Uglow, a specialist who is engaged in post-natal training shared her inputs for female athletes wanting to make a return to the professional circuit. “When you’re expecting, it’s important to keep moving. Pregnancy is similar to climbing a mountain or running a marathon – without having trained – while carrying a backpack that weighs a little more each day,” Uglow observed. She also noted, “In other words, it’s hard work. You wouldn’t run a marathon without training for it and the same goes for pregnancy.” In addition to her words seeming like an echo of Williams’ words, Uglow also pinpointed, “The benefits of moving during your pregnancy begin immediately and last your whole life as pregnant women who exercise have less back pain, better circulation, more energy, a more speedy recovery and your baby will start to reap the rewards straight away too.”

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Former world No. 1 Azarenka has one son, Leo, and is currently involved in a custody battle over the child with her former partner and father of the child Billy McKeague

When Victoria Azarenka decided to step back into the professional tennis-playing fold at the 2017 grass season six months after having her son Leo, the former world no. 1 had to grapple with heightened focus as to perform.

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Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

how she would


Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Serena Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian with daughter Olympia

Uglow also mentioned that these exercises needed to be given a go-ahead by the consulting doctor who would be in a better position to understand if a woman was experiencing unduly stress while carrying out these activities. Likewise, on a final note, she also put forth different exercising methods which could be practiced across each trimester. Beginning with power walking in the first trimester, to pelvic exercises in the second trimester to alleviate the pressure felt on the back, joints and muscles and to stretching exercises in the final trimester, the idea is to maintain continuity all throughout. With respect to this aspect of maintaining uniformity, one can touch upon Margaret Court who, perhaps started a unique trend way back in 1971. That of playing a Major while being pregnant. Court played, and lost, the 1971 Wimbledon final to her countrywoman GoolagongCawley. Thus, the knowledge that Williams played – and won – the 2017 Australian Open takes on a new meaning. Back when the news was revealed

accidentally by Williams, it raised surprise among many that Williams had played the first Major of the year at eight weeks pregnant. But given her fitness – she won the title that year without dropping a single set across the seven matches she played – it was only par for the course that Williams would go on to make a mark by winning a title in such fashion.

A human physique is not just regulated by physical fitness but also by psychological robustness. The same rationale applies to the likes of Mandy Minella who, though noticeably went under-the-radar, also played a Major – incidentally, the 2017 Wimbledon – while midway into her pregnancy. “[Pregnancy] came as a complete surprise to me, but I was so thrilled. I immediately saw several doctors who assured me there was no risk for me to keep playing. I was on a good run, I had a good ranking, so my team and I decided I would keep playing until the moment I would feel it’s not worth it anymore,” Minella said in an interview, earlier this year.

The 32-year-old Luxembourger eventually went on to make a comeback of her own in February 2018, less than four months after the birth of her daughter. Commendable as Minella’s determination to have an early restart as a professional is, there is one other factor that stands to affect the potential return of her peers. A human physique is not just regulated by physical fitness but also by psychological robustness. And while maintaining the vigour of their physique may be easy enough task for female tennis players, it’s hard to ascertain the extent of their difficulty to adjust their psyche while being separated at length from their children. Which could, then, also lead to postpartum depression. Studies reveal that postpartum depression which, while considered a rarity, is a relatively common occurrence affecting one among seven women. The symptoms range from lack of sleep to being unable to bond with the child to emotional disturbances like mood swings and anxiety attacks. At its worst, postpartum depression also causes

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suicidal tendencies and thoughts of causing harm to the children. With women tennis players already walking the fine rope between needing to maintain professional consistency in a timeline that’s already curtailed amid the presence of myriad rivalries – and newer rivals waiting to emerge – them trying to make their way back into the sport adds to the pressure. If this weren’t enough, the expectation that they would be able to pick the thread of their career from where they had left off before their maternity break also weighs in significantly. When Victoria Azarenka decided to step back into the professional tennis-playing fold at the 2017 grass season six months after having her son Leo, the former world no. 1 had to grapple with heightened focus as to how she would perform. Her initial results weren’t flattering which also prompted assessment in some corners as to whether the two-time former Australian Open champion had lost her edge. Williams’ return has, then, camouflaged the disquiet around Azarenka’s progress through tournament draws just as the American’s willingness to speak on the subject – and share her own experience – has seemingly added to its pertinence. In August this year, Williams lost a one-sided match to Briton Johanna Konta in the San Jose Open. The 6-0, 6-1 scoreline looked imposing as it caused disbelief that Williams could lose to tamely. It wasn’t until later when the 23-time Grand Slam champion posted a note on Instagram on how she had been dealing with postpartum depression that the nitty-gritty of the loss came to light. Williams said, “Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom.” Then, sharing how she was dealing with the problem, Williams mentioned, “I read

Kim Clijsters seen here with her daughter Jada is now a mother of three children

several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to 3 years if not dealt with. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal.” Williams’ statements weren’t in any way making light of Konta’s win nor were they posted as an excuse for her defeat. But they highlighted one particular facet that players could have bad days in more ways than one and that while they may try to resolve it as best as they can, they aren’t always able to change the outcome of the matches they play in. Sports persons are often regarded as superheroes, impervious

Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

to problems. This is specifically true of athletes – especially, women athletes – engaging in individual sporting domains such as tennis and who majorly form the upper echelon of the sport. Likewise, while there is a keen inclination to pen down fluid narratives about their comebacks there is a parallel disinclination in giving them time and space to come to their own, a second-time around. As such, in this ostensible disregard, there is not much separating such women athletes who return to the sport from the other working women in the everyday, mundane world.


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THE DJOKER IS BACK Novak Djokovic with the Wimbledon Trophy 2018

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

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e expect our tennis heroes to be superhuman, immune to the afflictions that plague us mere mortals. They exist only to show us that the impossible can be conquered; that mountains can be moved, demons may be vanquished, miracles shall be claimed. The myth of Roger Federer barely breaking a sweat as he flicks his one-handed backhand wonder across the net, or the certainty that Rafael Nadal is always on the cusp of a turnaround even when he’s two sets and a break down, and the belief that Novak Djokovic is, finally, at the end of his Grand Slam drought—we have seen, and so we believe. The Serbian’s two-year slump following the 2016 French Open

came at a time when he was expected to win trophies by merely turning up. He beat Andy Murray to win the Australian Open that year, followed by blazing runs at Indian Wells and Miami, the latter making him surpass Federer in the all-time ATP prize money race. The rivals were beginning to show cracks in their invincibility, but Djokovic showed no signs of letting up. His win against Murray, again, this time at the French Open final, gave rise to the ‘Nole Slam’ moniker—as the trophy-holding champion of all four Slams at the same time. It looked like it would be a long reign. The US Open final defeat to the other Swiss, Stan Wawrinka, was put down to a blip, the usual year-end fatigue that fells

SHREYA CHAKRAVERTTY

so many players who start the year strong. But all the introspection done by Djokovic in the early parts of 2017 led him to one inexplicable conclusion: the foundation was the problem. In a move that he himself called ‘shock therapy’, he parted ways with his long-time coach Marian Vajda, trainer Gebhard Phil-Greitch and physiotherapist Miljan Amanovic. “I want to continue raising the level of my game and stamina and this is a continuous process,” he told the media at the time. “I enjoy this journey, it feels like I am starting something new again... I am a hunter and my biggest goal is to find the winning spark on the court again... I have so much faith in this process

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and that’s why I will take time to find the right person who I can connect with professionally. I have been on the tour long enough to know how to manage daily routines and I don’t want to rush my decision.” Despite the carefully worded sound bites from both Djokovic and Vajda, the decision made little tennis sense. Together with the fact that even after this culling, his ‘love and peace’ coach Pepe Imaz continued to be in Djokovic’s corner, there was definitely more here than met the eye. There were backstage whispers about troubles in his personal life, hush-hush allegations that Imaz was in fact part of a cult that was brainwashing Djokovic to take extremely dodgy professional decisions, and a video doing the rounds of a group-therapy session consisting of his brother Marko, himself, Imaz and many others, in which Imaz is seen exhorting the audience to let ‘love envelop every part of their lives’. In the two-hourlong recording, when Djokovic takes the microphone, he speaks about harmony and connections, souls and meditation. Perhaps if the camera had moved slightly further back, it would have panned on Vajda rolling his eyes. One of the conflicts in this particular coach–player relationship was apparently the presence of Imaz, with reports later emerging that Vajda had insisted the Spaniard’s exit was a condition for him to return. Djokovic defused the tension with another carefully worded press release denying what Vajda had said, but that didn’t do much to paper the cracks. The occasional fad therapy clearly has much appeal for the Serb; in fact, one such move was responsible for him developing into a multiple Slam champion from the injury (and doubt) prone athlete he once was—putting a gluten-free diet in place eliminated many of his medical complaints. 24

In addition, hypoxic chambers for recovery (or sleeping pods, as they are more commonly known), Watsu water therapy and meditation practices have been among his other wellness choices. “It has always been, not just for tennis, but in general there’s always something that you can improve and get better at as a person and as a player,” he said in an interview during the 2018 Australian Open. Does this quest for self-improvement show the man beyond the tennis player, one who is struggling with the question that plagues all modern humans: what is the meaning of life and how do we find it? Perhaps he thought a life coach was the answer, but there was no way the workings of the inner soul could translate into success on the tennis court.

The Serbian’s two-year slump following the 2016 French Open came at a time when he was expected to win trophies by merely turning up. He beat Andy Murray to win the Australian Open that year, followed by blazing runs at Indian Wells and Miami, the latter making him surpass Federer in the all-time ATP prize money race. Andre Agassi, the posterboy for mental transformations in this sport, who, not too long ago, conquered chaos to achieve calm (and championships) was brought into the mix in May 2017, but Team Djokovic made for a sorry picture at his forced early end to the season—he retired in his Wimbledon quarterfinal against Tomas Berdych due to an elbow

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injury and shortly after announced that he was done for the season. There needed to be a reunion with Vajda and a return to the good old basics of the game for the promise to return, and for the realisation that you don’t fix what isn’t broken. “He called me from the Dominican Republic,” Vajda told Tennis.com. “I caught him full of doubt. He was not sure about the way his game should look. He suggested I could coach him again. He felt he could not find the right team.” By the Monte Carlo Masters in April, Vajda was back. The year 2018 had begun on the lowest of keys, but built up to a crescendo by the time it ended—with the number 1 ranking and two Slams under his belt. It was no coincidence that Subsequently, Djokovic made the year his own—a remarkable fact if we consider his performance up to the halfway mark, a period in which he let journeyman players like South Korea’s Hyeon Chung and the Sicilian Marco Cecchinato make headlines at his expense, at the Australian Open and French Open respectively. A few days after the loss to the Korean, whose court coverage seemed to have been inspired by the Djokovic of old, the Serb announced his intention to undergo elbow surgery. After his recovery and return, he didn’t make it past the third round at Miami, Barcelona or Monte Carlo, but at the Rome Masters, a hard-won quarterfinal against Nishikori put him in the semi-final against Nadal. On clay, though, any match against the Spaniard is a foregone conclusion, and this was no different in terms of the eventual victor, but it looked as if Djokovic’s fighting spark had finally been reignited. The second Slam of the year, and a second chance to salvage 2018 in Paris, but Cecchinato ensured that it would not be the Serb who challenged Nadal that year. The scoreline after the four-set match read 3-6, 6-7 (4),


Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

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Brila advert

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6-1, 6-7 (11) in favour of the Italian. And at the press conference after his defeat, a weary and irritated Djokovic refused to confirm if he would even take the court during the grass season. “I don’t know,” was his short response. And then, when the line of questioning persisted, he said: “I don’t know if I will play on grass.” Wimbledon was a major plot point in a previous Nole winning streak in 2011, when he beat Nadal in four sets to claim his first trophy at his selfproclaimed ‘most-dreamed-about major’. This time around, the same opponent provided a real test in the last four. The result after the secondlongest Wimbledon semi-final ever to be played—5 hours, 15 minutes— and the straight-set win over South African Kevin Anderson in the final had finally added to his Slam count. Number 13, and never was it luckier. “It’s easy to talk now and look back at it and be kind of grateful, but I really am grateful to go through these mixed emotions, turbulences as well mentally, moments of doubt and disappointment and frustration, anger,” he said. “It’s usually in a struggle that you get to know yourself, you get to have an opportunity to rise like a phoenix and evolve and get better.” Djokovic was feeling all the emotions, but he had got here with clinical precision. The stern words Vajda had had with him before agreeing to return to the camp tell the rest of the story. “We wanted him to play tennis not as a philosophy but as a practice,” he told Tennis.com in the same interview. “I was not wanting Novak to be influenced by people who know what tennis is but don’t understand the mentality of a top athlete. Tennis cannot be based on a philosophy. It’s a mano a mano sport.” The new-old Team Novak trained their sights on the US Open Series, and focused hard. Business as usual, and training as usual, and, hence, results as usual. Make that better

The Serbian is back on top of the rankings

than usual en route to the US Open. After beating quality names on his way to the Cincinnati final – the only Masters tournament he hadn’t won before -- Djokovic came up against Roger Federer -- the GOAT himself and a x-time Cincinnati champion -and beat him: in straight sets, no less, in their first meeting since the 2016 Australian Open final. But this win that earned him the Career Golden Masters was just a sideshow for the big one. At Flushing Meadows, after steadying himself following wobbly displays against Martin Fucsovics and Tennys Sandgren, just the kind of gritty journeymen who had made it a habit to topple him at the start of the year, Djokovic ran head first into the eternal emotional favourite himself, Juan Martin del Potro. But the Serb kept his eyes on the prize and got Slam No. 14, which came with the No. 3 ranking and a place level with Pete Sampras on the Slam count. The lopsided numbers indicate the distance that loomed between the ghosts of his 2018 past and present—1055 points at the half-way point in the calendar (after Roland

Garros) and 9045 points by the end; world No. 22 in April, and No. 1 in October. Even though he lost in the final of the year-ending ATP Masters to Alexander Zverev, that is not the main talking point when summing up the Serb’s performances this year. His fitness trainer Gritsch spoke about the kind of work they had put in to reach this far. “In May, none of us in the team had thought this was possible,’ he said during an interview. “Novak was really in trouble. There was a lot missing in the fitness area . . . But above all, he also had mental problems because he did not know where he actually is.” 2018 has been a game of two halves for Djokovic. The off-season in the sport is notorious for being far too short, and before the pros know it’s over, the pop and fizz of new tennis ball cans become familiar sounds. His social media posts are a collage of joyous family time and R&R pursuits that look thoroughly enjoyable, but one suspects he might well be going over gameplans in some corner of his mind, looking forward to 2019 and picking up where he left off.

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Sports Kinesiology The Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar Training Method

K

inesiology (comes from the Greek “kinesis”, meaning “movements”) is the science of mobility that focuses on body movements and how the muscles behave in situations of stress and strain. This discipline surfaced during the 60s when Doctor George Goodheart and his team of investigators found that muscle weakness can cause muscles to tense causing pain and the spinal column to deviate. This marked a change of perspective because until that moment it was though that what caused muscles to tense up were spasms. Since then, kinesiology has developed into three main areas: health, psychology and pedagogy. Its specific sports application is developed so that it can be carried out in a simple and logical manner. This discipline influences the idea that in order to play a sport with correct technique, certain conditions are needed. In tennis, for example, a backhand with topspin requires a series of movements (running, twisting the spine, catching momentum, lowering the face of the racket…) all of this with the correct timing and controlled movements to achieve the correct execution. In order for the athlete to be able to do everything correctly achieving an optimal movement capacity, he or she should resort to several Partial Efficiency Systems (PES) of the body.

Optimal personal performance

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Body/mental integration

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Good technique

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Movement skill set

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Movement capacity

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Partial Efficiency Systems (PES) = the basis of coordination

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The main PES for tennis are: • balance • hand-eye coordination • coordination between the spine and the lower body • cooperation between arms and legs • readiness of movement in both directions • binocular vision • eye movement succession • eye conversion, among other things ... An athlete who doesn’t have any of these PES available is most likely present a greater difficulty learning a good sports technique and applying this to the game. Benefits for the tennis player: • Improves coordination and balance. • Improves spatial awareness and with it security in movement. • Improves the control of the ball. • Increases visual quality. • Improves game perspective.

• Optimizes the tennis Sensory Systems. • Increases concentration/focus. • Gains agility and muscle connection. • Activates the flow of energy in the meridians of acupuncture and provides oxygen to the muscles. • Decreases the time of convalescence. Renowned professional athletes in many disciplines currently work with this method or similar concepts. At the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar sports kinesiology is applied based on all the benefits it provides from the coach Werner who is the creator of the X-Motion system, “Kinesiology Applied to Tennis”. This way, athletes are provided with a new path to overcome their limits and can expand their resources. For further in-depth information about this subject, we recommend visiting Werner’s web page: www. sport-kine.com

For additional information about Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar, their mental training method and tennis programs, please log on to www.rafanadalacademy.com 28

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The

Rising Star from Korea

HYEON CHUNG

PRIYANSH

Photo: Fred Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

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n 2014, Hyeon Chung was unsure of his tennis career. Facing a 21-month military service by law in South Korea, Hyeon Chung and his doubles partner Yong-kyu Lim prepared for the Asian Games in Incheon knowing pretty well that their fate would be determined by the doubles tournament. In the semis, the Korean duo played India’s Yuki Bhambri and Divij Sharan. The Indian pair won the first set 10-8 in the tiebreak. The second set went the distance too, the Korean team just about holding on for an 8-6 score to take the match into a super tiebreak. The contest kept swinging from one side to another but somehow, Chung and Lim grabbed an 11-9 win in the super tiebreak. 30

Their story did not end there. In the final, the Koreans won a tight straight sets match over another Indian duo of Saketh Myneni and Sanam Singh. The gold medal win meant that both Chung and Lim were exempted from the military service and could go on to pursue their tennis careers. Chung has certainly made the most of this opportunity. As of the week starting April 23, 2018, the 21-yearold from Suwon is ranked 19 in the Association of Tennis Players (ATP) rankings. With Kei Nishikori still recovering from poor form and injuries, Chung is the top ranked Asian male on the circuit. But the struggle of 2014 is not very far away from his thoughts. Speaking at the Australian Open,

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Chung recalled, “We saved like four match points in the semifinals. If I lose that match, maybe I am not here now. I would have to go to the army.” He now belongs to a different kind of battle. The Australian Open earlier this year represented the most stunning success till now for the Korean. Unseeded, Chung went on to become the first from his country to play a Grand Slam semifinal. He overcame three seeds – Mischa Zverev, the German’s younger and more illustrious brother Alexander Zverev, and Novak Djokovic. But it was not merely his success, but also Chung’s humble manner which attracted crowds in Melbourne. The Korean’s biggest win was his


straight sets victory over Djokovic in the quarters which earned him plaudits worldwide. One of his admirers was no other than Roger Federer, who played him next in the semifinal. Speaking before their match, the Swiss legend said, “Look, I’m very excited to play Chung. I thought he played an incredible match against Novak. To beat him here is one of the tough things to do in our sport, I believe. I know that Novak maybe wasn’t at 110 percent, but he was all right. He was giving it a fight till the very end. To close it out, that was mighty impressive.” For Chung, though, beating Novak had special significance on a personal level. He had grown up imitating the Serb, and now he had beaten him in a Grand Slam quarterfinal without dropping a set. Speaking to The New York Times, Hyeon recalled the games he used to play back home in parking lots with his elder brother Hong who is a tennis player as well. “It was similar like mini-tennis,” Chung said. “My model was Novak, and my brother liked Rafa because he is playing also lefty.” Chung went on to base his game on Djokovic’s style. “When I was young, I just tried to copy Novak because he was my idol,” he added. Federer noted the similarities as well. “Reminds me obviously a lot of Novak. The way he’s able to slide on forehand and backhand and use the hard court as a clay court and get balls back and stay aggressive in defense.” With his white frame glasses and innocuous mannerisms, Chung certainly does not seem very aggressive. But he does hit a mean forehand, a facet of his game the South African coach Neville Godwin was keen to improve. Godwin, who had previously won the ATP’s coach of the year award during his stint with Kevin Anderson, started working with Chung towards the end of 2017 and he realised the Korean had a

tendency to be defensive at times. He made Chung’s serve his primary concern. “It’s kind of like an Andy Roddick serve. Obviously Hyeon’s legs are the power base of his game. The more he can bring them into the equation, the better,” Godwin told The New York Times. So, Chung was asked to reduce the gap between his feet so that he could impart more drive into the serve from his legs. It worked wonders.

“When I was young, I just tried to copy Novak because he was my idol” These gains, however, could not make a difference in the Australian Open semifinal. Federer’s experience showed in the curtailed encounter as Chung had to retire, forced by the painful blisters on his feet. The injury had started troubling him after he won his third-round match against Alexander Zverev and the young Korean required injections to see him through in the following matches. The challenge was considerable. “These are serious injections. Each one lasts like a minute. The guy is biting into a towel for a minute, and you have to do it pretty close to match time otherwise it wears off. So 45 minutes before a match, and he’s biting into a towel having someone jabbing his feet. He had three doctors, a podiatrist and five trainers running around after him the, sort of, last 10 days,” said his coach, Godwin. Fortunately, though, Chung is back on the circuit and playing well again.

At the Indian Wells Masters, Chung met Federer again and stretched him hard in the first set before bowing out in their quarterfinal encounter. In the following marquee tournament, the Miami Open, Chung was defeated only by the eventual champion John Isner at the same stage. This is the future his parents had envisaged for him, albeit accidentally. Chung’s father Suk-jin played tennis and so does his elder son Hong, but Hyeon got introduced to tennis only after a doctor thought the sport could strengthen his weak eyesight. “The doctor said instead of looking at the tiny letters of the book, it’s better to look at the green color. In Korea, all the fences around the tennis courts were green,” said Chung’s mother, Young-mi, when she spoke to The New York Times. Soon, though, Hyeon started to match his elder brother on the court and not merely look up to him. Twice, the Chungs played each other on the Asian Futures circuit. Both times, Hyeon emerged the winner. Both he and his brother were being trained at the Nick Bollettieri Academy in Florida and the younger Chung began to stand out. The hype around him only rose when he finished runner-up in the 2013 Wimbledon Boys’ Singles tournament. Two years later, Chung was awarded the ATP’s Most Improved Player prize for jumping from 171 to number 51 in the rankings. His rise was sadly halted by an abdominal injury in 2016, which forced him to spend four months away from competitive tennis. However, an energised Chung returned for the 2017 season which saw him reach multiple landmarks. For the Korean’s point of view, the year stood out for two reasons. Firstly, a five-set third round clash against Kei Nishikori at the French Open which suggested that Asian tennis may have more to cheer about even though Chung lost. But it was

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Photo: Fred Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

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Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

Naomi Osaka Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

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The future now shines very brightly for Chung. With his age just 21 years, his career promises much.

Photo: Fred Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

the second highlight which defines the player he is now. Six months after the French Open, Chung won the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. The new tournament brought together the top 8 players on the circuit, aged 21 or lower. In a fastpaced, different format, Chung bested his peers to earn a significant trophy and prize money. Coach Godwin believes this was the turning point of his career. “In my opinion, because of that tournament, he really started to believe, ‘I can win tournaments, and I can beat two, three or four good players in a row’.” Chung did not drop a single match in the round robin-cum-knockout tournament. The title win was a huge

boost to his confidence, as we saw at the Australian Open. His semifinal appearance at the Grand Slam only made the case stronger. The run to the semis meant that Chung became the highest-ranked South Korean tennis player ever, breaking past Hyung-taik Lee’s record positioning at number 36 over a decade ago. The future now shines very brightly for Chung. With his age just 21 years, his career promises much. Great Asian singles players like Vijay Amritraj, Paradorn Srichapan, Kei Nishikori, among others, did not realise the dream of lifting a Grand Slam title – although there is still time for Nishikori. Chung may outdo all of them.

With his emphasis on defence, and a gradually developing offensive mindset, Chung will hope that he can lead the charge of the young once the likes of Federer, Rafa Nadal, and Djokovic retire. World number three Alexander Zverev is generally considered to be the next big hope for men’s tennis, but he is a player who Chung has already beaten. The Korean certainly has the credentials to take on the mantle. Chung’s recent displays at the Indian Wells and Miami Masters tournaments were further proof that he is no mere flash in the pan. There is certainly much more to come from him and, perhaps, Chung will be the man to break the glass ceiling for Asian men’s tennis.

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Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Who is the Greatest Asian tennis Player? SHARMISTHA CHAUDHURI

It’s well known that Paes loves to play for the history books. Still fit as a fiddle, updating himself with newer training techniques to stay injury free and healthy, Paes has no intentions of stopping. Without doubt, he is the greatest Asian tennis player in doubles. There is no one who comes even close. Li Na was the first Asian to win a Grand Slam singles title

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t’s well known the two don’t like playing together. In fact, even before the tie began, Bopanna had requested he ‘sit out’ this one. Paes, on the other hand, was making a comeback to the Davis Cup squad. Dropped by former partner and current non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi last year, Paes was eager to clinch another record—the most number of Davis Cup doubles wins. He had been stuck on the number 42, tied with Italy’s Nicola Pietrangeli, albeit a while. The Indians lost the first set 5-7 on the hardcourt of the Tianjin Tennis Centre to their Chinese counterparts Mao-Xin Gong and Ze Zhang. Things weren’t looking that great but out of sheer determination they equalised 36

scores winning the second set in a closely fought tiebreak—7-6(5). It was anybody’s game. After almost two and a half hours of play, the tide turned for India. With the decider again taken to a tiebreaker, Paes and Bopanna upped their game, refusing to give any leeway to the opponents as they wrapped up the set 7-6(3) to provide the visitors a chance to win the Asia/Oceania Group I second round tie. And the team didn’t let the duo’s hard fought battle go to waste. Treating it as the turning point, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Prajnesh Gunneswaran, respectively, quickly wrapped the day’s proceedings to give India a 3-2 victory, keeping the country’s win record against China intact in the tournament.

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Just let that sink in for a moment. It was Paes’ 43rd Davis Cup victory. In a career spanning over three decades, the victory also earned the 44-year-old his 750th doubles match win! He’s only the sixth player in ATP World Tour history to achieve it. America’s Mark Bryan leads the list with 1073 wins. It’s well known that Paes loves to play for the history books. Still fit as a fiddle, updating himself with newer training techniques to stay injury free and healthy, Paes has no intentions of stopping. Adding more records to his already overachieving resume, which include rising to No. 1 on the ranking charts; 54 doubles crowns, eight of which are Grand Slams in men’s doubles and 10 in mixed; and


She defeated Serena Williams in straight sets in a controversial, yet, entertaining final at Flushing Meadows to win her maiden Major. She maybe shy and soft-spoken off the court but while on it, she fears no one. With her single-minded focus and aggressiveness on court accompanying an incredibly powerful serve, Osaka became the first Japanese player, and second Asian, to win a singles Grand Slam. She represents Japan, her mother’s country. Her father is HaitianAmerican and the family came to the US when Osaka was three. Though

Osaka has been producing results since the past four years, 2018 has seen a major breakthrough. Just this year itself, she’s defeated the likes of Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova among others. Ranked No 7 in the world at the moment, these achievements are just baby steps for the youngster who has a much brighter future ahead. Among Japanese men, Kei Nishikori may have slipped down on the ranking charts, but in 2014, he became the first Asian male player to reach the final of a singles Major at Flushing Meadows. It was a battle

Leander Paes is considered by many as one of the greatest doubles players Photo: Fred Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

an Olympic bronze, Paes has his eyes on more laurels. Without doubt, he’s the greatest Asian tennis player in doubles. There’s no one who comes even close. The argument now turns to whether he is the greatest Asian tennis player of all time. It’s difficult to measure greatness. There’s no doubt about Paes’ distinctive doubles achievements but to not take into consideration the contributions of China’s Li Na, Japan’s Kei Nishikori and Naomi Osaka, home-grown heroes Vijay Amritraj and Ramanathan Krishnan in singles and Sania Mirza in doubles, will skew the debate. It was 2011 and China’s Li Na was playing her second consecutive Grand Slam final at Roland Garros. Having lost to Kim Clijsters on the hardcourt of Melbourne earlier in the year, the feisty woman was in no mood to let got of this opportunity on clay. Before Italy’s Francesca Schiavone, the defending champion, could realise what was happening. the Chinese had wrapped up the second set at 7-0 in the tiebreak to achieve what no Asian had done before—winning a Grand Slam singles title. Her victory elevated the Asian tennis profile to a new level altogether. Three years later when she won her second singles Major Down Under defeating Dominika Cibulkova, she further cemented her place among the all-time Asian tennis greats. The win took her to a career-high of No 2 in the rankings before a knee injury forced her to retire. Her dry wit off court coupled with an aggressive style on court, made Li Na one of the most popular tennis stars in the world. And despite a retirement, there seems to be no stopping her. Book deals, a clothing line, reality television, maybe even an academy; the 36-year-old mother-oftwo has her hands full. Today, Naomi Osaka is the talk of the town. The 20-year-old is the reigning US Open champion.

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Photo: Fred Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Mirza and Bhupathi have both won numerous doubles titles

among first-timers—Marin Cilic and himself. Nishikori lost in straight sets but it set him on a path of firsts. He became the first Asian to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals that year in singles of course and since, has racked up 11 titles. Though a wrist injury forced him to cut his season short last year, he made the final of the Monte Carlo Masters in 2018 where he ultimately lost to current world No 1 Rafael Nadal. The former world No 4 fell short of his first Masters title but the 28-year-old couldn’t be happier with his performance. “I think I’m almost there,” he said post the loss. Then, who can forget Thailand’s Paradorn Srichapan? The 38-year-old paved the path for Asian singles stars when he cracked the ATP rankings top-10, notably the first to do so. Though the Thai former world No 9 never went beyond the fourth round of a Grand Slam, his victories over the likes of Nadal, Andy Roddick and Marat Safin had all talking. “I’m not just 38

representing Thailand, my country, but I feel that I’m representing all the Asian countries, especially in Asian tennis,” is what Srichaphan used to say. Though he doesn’t come close to being called the greatest, he is definitely a notable mention.

Then, who can forget Thailand’s Paradorn Srichapan? The 38-yearold paved the path for Asian singles stars when he cracked the ATP rankings top-10, notably the first to do so. Turning towards home, we need to go back some decades when Ramanathan Krishnan was setting the world of ablaze with his ‘touch tennis’. A maverick to take to the courts in the 1950s and 60s, Krishnan’s subtle grace makes him one of the best Asians to ever have played the sport. At a time when Rod Laver and Roy Emerson were dominating

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the Majors, Krishnan notched up victories against both and reached the semifinals of Wimbledon twice in successive years (1960 and 61). Not to mention he became the first Asian player to clinch the boys’ singles title at SW19 in 1954. Playing in the amateur era, he reached a careerhigh of No. 6 in singles and paved the way for the next generation of Indians and Asians in the sport. Of the Amritraj brothers, Vijay and Anand, carried on the mantle. Vijay’s singles quarterfinal appearances in Wimbledon and the US Open in 1973 was a proud moment. With victories over Laver, Ken Rosewall, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg, Vijay’s singles career was one of the greatest ever. After reaching a career-high ranking of 16 in 1980, the following year, he lost in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon despite being 2-0 up against Connors. With brother Anand, the duo even made the doubles semifinals at SW19 in 1976. Part of the Indian Davis Cup


Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Above: Naomi Osaka is only the second player from Asia to win a singles Grand Slam title. Below: Kei Nishikori: World No. 9 and Asia No. 1 Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

squad that reached the finals in 1974 and 1987 (the first time India boycotted the final against South Africa and the second time they lost to Sweden), Vijay took the country’s tennis aspirations a step further, winning 18 singles and 24 doubles crowns in his long career. In this debate, the inclusion of Sania Mirza is a must. The 31-yearold from Hyderabad brought Indian women’s tennis on the world map with her fantastic achievements. Winning over 40 doubles titles which include three Grand Slam doubles and three mixed, Sania’s ascent to the top of the doubles ranking charted a historic moment in Asian tennis. In singles, she reached a career-high rank of 27 before a wrist injury forced her to concentrate on doubles. With former partner Martina Hingis, ‘SanTina’s’ winning streak reached 41, three short of the longest winning streak since 1990 compiled by Jana Novotna and Helena Sukova. Sania’s on court achievements have led to Time Magazine naming her among ’50 heroes of Asia’ (2005) and ‘100 most influential people in the world’ (2016). Thus, it’s difficult to determine this debate. As any debate goes, how can one distinguish the greatest Asian tennis player? Does one go by statistics, style of play or a general influence? “Li Na did a phenomenal job opening the door as the first Asian Grand Slam champion in singles, and I think Kei’s feat opened the eyes of a lot of the youngsters in Asia that we can win a men’s (singles) Grand Slam as well,” is what Paes believes, who won his first doubles Major with compatriot Bhupathi in 1999. Asians have already scaled great heights in tennis. With the sport adapting to newer styles and technologies, it will be interesting to see where Asian tennis goes from here in the coming years. And maybe, just maybe, this debate, too, will be resolved!

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Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Naomi Osaka takes Centre Stage SHREYA CHAKRAVERTTY

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n 2014, at the Bank of the West Classic tour event in California, a shy sixteen-year-old HaitianAmerican-Japanese tennis player espies her idol from afar but is too shy to approach her for a chat. They are both competitors at the tournament, playing for the same prize, but their worlds are so far apart that any possibility of collision seems like a distant possibility. She agonizes about a possible meeting, then about the fact that the American may get to know about her fandom and consider it ‘creepy’, but eventually gets a keepsake: a selfie with her. That particular WTA tournament

was, in a sense, a first look at Osaka’s potential—and her monster forehand. The latter played a starring role in the 406-ranked player’s win over Tour veteran and former US Open champion Samantha Stosur— ranked No. 19 at the time—achieved after saving a match point, no less. It was also her first appearance in a WTA main draw, gained after coming through the qualifiers. These facts did make many take note of her as one to watch out for even back then, but it’s her 6-2, 6-4 2018 US Open victory against 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena that will be the headlining act for some time to come.

Unfortunately, it was under extremely unsavoury circumstances, and led to copious tears being spilled from Osaka’s eyes during the presentation ceremony, prompting Serena to reprimand the crowd. A questionable line call, an unclear code violation, and a raging former champion spewing invective—you couldn’t make this stuff up. At one of the umpteen interviews lined up for the new young Slam winner, Osaka made it clear that witnessing her idol’s fury in the heat of the moment hadn’t taken away any of the adoration. ‘Serena told me some stuff and I hugged her . . . I

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Photo: Fred Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

had always wanted to hug her. I know that sounds weird,’ she told the host of a TV talk show, a smile lighting up her face as she spoke about the customary post-match greeting shared by the two at the net. It seems a pity that the greatest moment of Osaka’s professional life till now will always have an unpleasant footnote, but if we give the main narrative a chance, it sparkles. Born to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, and growing up in the US since age three, Osaka and her sister, Mari, started playing tennis at their father’s prompting. Leonard Francois had been a keen observer of Richard Williams, the father of Serena and Venus, and decided to give tennis parenting a shot himself after watching the two beaming American teenagers pose with the doubles trophy at the 1999 French Open. After moving to her grandmother’s place on Long Island with the family, Naomi and Mari were made to knock around thousands of balls a day under their father’s supervision. Naomi’s motivations at the time were slightly different from what they are now. “I don’t remember liking to hit the ball,” 42

Naomi told the New York Times in an interview. “The main thing was that I wanted to beat my sister.” She would lose with an unkind 6-0 scoreline almost every time they played. “For her, it wasn’t a competition, but for me, every day was. Every day I’d say, ‘I’m going to beat you tomorrow.’” Eventually, she did beat Mari 6-2— after many hours of tennis. This was possibly her first lesson on the sweet rewards of perseverance. When things got more serious on the tennis front, the Osakas moved to Florida for advanced training, starting off at public courts before graduating to academy tennis. Despite living in the US and showing early promise, the United States Tennis Association did not express much of an interest in backing Naomi, and so her father made the decision that she and her sister would play with ‘JPN’ against their names. Deciding to give the junior circuit a skip altogether and starting off on the ITF Challenge Circuit—a route also followed by the Williams—Naomi’s initial run reads like just another set of numbers on the tough uphill climb endured by all tennis players. Qualifiers, doubles, Challengers,

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and taking the positives from every defeat—especially the ones to her sister—dotted her journey. She did not manage to stay unbeaten in any tournament on the ITF tour, but did finish runner-up four times. When she reunited with her estranged Japanese family (who had initially disapproved her mother’s marriage to Francois), they couldn’t believe that there was all this talk of playing the sport as a profession. True, that was a reflection of the traditionalism enmeshed in Japan’s social structure rather than a comment on Naomi’s talent, but as an indicator of the immense fortitude needed to soldier on on the brutal tennis circuit, it was a reality check. The Osakas, though, stuck to the climb. In 2016, Naomi notched up a few professional milestones. Starting with her first time in a Slam main draw after qualification into the Australian Open, where she beat world no. 21 Elena Svitolina. After another notable win over no. 18 Sara Errani at the Miami Open, she made it into the WTA top 100. However, her clay and grass results were patchy at best— while she did manage a couple of clay-court wins, she did not play any


Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

matches on grass after suffering an injury at her debut French Open. On returning to the circuit in July, she put up a series of steady performances before her breakthrough at a venue where she would have felt right at home: the Pan Pacific Open at Tokya—her first appearance in a WTA final. Among her scalps was no. 22 Dominika Cibulkova and no. 20 Svitolina, and she also earned a slice of Japanese history, becoming the first home player to make the final since Kimiko Date in 1995. Even though she couldn’t get past her final opponent Caroline Wozniacki, she had made a place for herself in the top 50, opening doors to higher ranking opportunities and picking up the WTA Newcomer of the Year award. 2017 was considerably less populated with such highlights, but Naomi did manage to register two top-10 victories: over Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams at the US Open and Hong Kong Open respectively. Nevertheless, the slightest of hints at stagnancy prompted her to hire professional support, in the form of Serena’s former hitting partner Sascha Bajin. The decision showed immediate results—at her second tournament since bringing him on board, she put in her career-best Slam performance at the 2018 Australian Open. Since ending his eight-year stint with Serena in 2015, Bajin’s other coaching assignments—with Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens and Caroline Wozniacki—were shorter than he would have liked. He had almost made up his mind to give up the life of a travelling coach, but the trial sessions he had with Naomi intrigued him. “. . . the last three times things ended a little bit too quick for me,” Bajin said in an interview on the official WTA website. “I believe in longevity and that if you work with someone for a longer period of time you can work more efficiently. You

know them better. It’s just a more intimate thing. The beautiful thing of working with Naomi is that you don’t have to keep her motivated too much because she really enjoys it. It’s not that I have to push her to the court. It’s more actually of her slowing her down and keeping her grounded.” Bajin added that Naomi was often too hard on herself. “She’s such a perfectionist that she just gets down on herself. So I have to be the contrast. If she’s too negative and too down then I have to go and say it’s OK. The world is round, the grass is green, everything is all right.” After her 2018 win, Naomi spoke about the toll that pro tennis can take on mental health. “You can easily get depressed. Usually, if you play sports, you think that one match or one game is very important, and when you lose it, you think your whole world is over. I can see how easily that can turn . . . I call my sister, and she starts talking about random stuff to distract me,” she told Teen Vogue. The mindfulness of the gracious champion is on display even on court—she is not given to overtly emotional responses, even if there are scenes of chaos around her. At the post-match press conference at Flushing Meadows, she spoke about

her composed walk to the net to be congratulated by her opponent. “I was just thinking, I don’t know, like to have a huge reaction isn’t really me in the first place. It just still didn’t really feel that real. So for me it just felt like a normal match just walking up to the net. But it’s Serena on the other side . . . it was really awesome.” Since 9 September 2018, it has been a given that any mention of Naomi Osaka’s name will have another tagged on: that of her idol, Serena Williams. The unfortunate circumstances that cemented this fact, though, should not be the legacy that the tennis player leaves behind. Doubtless there are greater victories in her future but for now she’s enjoying herself, and fans should enjoy her. Whether it’s her endearing embarrassment at talk show host Ellen Degeneres tagging a shirtless photo of Michael B. Jordan on her social media account (Naomi later played down her love of the actor) or her discreet superstitions (“I always have to put my right shoe on first, and all my racquets have to be on a certain side of my bag”), Osaka is a personality who could take the WTA Tour into the twenty-first century.

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Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Flying the Flag ROHAN BOPANNA Rohan Bopanna is India’s shining star. He has been a part of our Davis cup team since 2002. He recently won the Asian games gold medal in doubles for India and is a recipient of the Arjuna Award. His career high ranking in doubles was No.3 in the world in 2013. As recently as last year, Bopanna won the mixed doubles and his first Grand Slam title at the French Open. In the exclusive interview with Advantage Tennis, Bopanna reflects on his career and his goals and plans for the future. You have been a successful doubles player and one of India’s top doubles players. At the age of 38, you have won 17 ATP doubles titles, one mixed doubles Grand Slam title and most recently, the Asian games gold medal. Is there more to come? Thank you very much. Yes it has been a very good doubles career indeed. The most important thing for me is that I am still competing at a high level and enjoying playing tennis. Now my aim is to keep winning bigger titles like the Master Series

and the Grand Slams. I still believe in my game so yes, I would say there is surely more to come. The mixed doubles title at the 2017 French Open made you only the fourth Indian to win a Grand Slam title. How does that make you feel? As a tennis player you dream to win Grand Slams, so winning my first slam in 2017 was truly a big and special moment (I think it took about 24 hours for it to sink in) The incredible amount of messages which I received from friends, family

and well wishers was overwhelming and everything sank in only when I was on the flight when all the phones were off and I had time for myself to really sit back and recollect that moment. All this just makes it so special. Its my mantra, that if you believe in yourself anything is truly possible. You and Aisam–ul-Haq Qureshi from Pakistan had an excellent partnership and found success for quite some years. You even made it into the top 10 as a team on the

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Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

With his Davis Cup team mates

ATP rankings. What was it like to be a part of Indo-Pak Express as you were fondly known as? Well it is the friendship (which I still share) with Aisam that made it very extraordinary. We have known each other for over 20 years now and I believe the camaraderie we share made us play some great tennis together. From winning many titles to making our breakthrough into becoming one of the top teams in the world the rapport we have on and off the court allowed us to accomplish all this. Off the court we both were peace ambassadors for Peace & Sport, a neutral and independent organization based in the Principality of Monaco under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco. Our friendship has only grown from strength to strength over the years. By partnering with Qureshi, you promoted political harmony in our sensitive relationship with Pakistan. Is politics something that interests you? Well ofcourse I am upto date with all the happenings and news in our country, but I have no interest in getting into politics. In 2010, you and your partner Qureshi beat the world no.1 pair of the Bryan brothers at the Legg Meson tennis classic in Washington 46

D.C. How much did that win mean to you? 2010 was our breakthrough year and this tournament was leading upto the US Open so beating the No1 team in the world gave us a huge confidence boost and truly helped us over the few weeks after. We knew if we played our game we could beat anyone. What has been the most important milestone in your career? As a professional athlete, each stage in life is like a milestone which one keeps building on. For me being a part of the Davis cup team since 2002, playing Roger Federer in 2006 in Halle, Germany, to making my first Grand Slam final in 2010, winning the crucial 5th rubber of the Davis cup tie against Brazil in singles, making finals in 2012 and 2015 of the London Masters, representing India at the Olympics, the Grand Slam victory, Asian Games Gold medal, Arjuna award all have been significant milestones. So it’s impossible to pick one for me. Your parents are huge supporters of your career. How important a role does parental support play in a sportsperson’s life today? It is the most important role for an athlete and especially to have both the parents on the same page,

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because it is not only the kid who makes the sacrifices, it’s the parents too. Having your parents understand and support your dream really helps you perform better. In my case, my parents have always been extremely encouraging. Every parent would always be concerned about their ward but knowing when to step back is also extremely crucial. My parents knew how to strike the balance. They were always there for me, but they also put their trust and faith in the coaches and professionals to do their job, which helped me a lot. After your retirement from professional tennis, do you see yourself continuing to be associated with tennis in India in some way? Yes absolutely. I have already started my own tennis academy, I have been running it for the past two and a half years now. I am funding it myself currently and one of my closest family friend Mr. Rahul Chittyana has been helping me run the academy in a professional way in terms of managing all our full time Serbian and Indian coaches and also the kids. He looks after the day to day affairs of the academy which makes it little easier for me when I am traveling for my tournaments and other professional commitments. You are involved in charity and support various causes. Is that personally important to you? Yes it is indeed very important. I believe in giving back and wherever I can help out I try and do as much as I can in my own capacity. How does it feel to go down in history as one of India’s most important tennis players? Thank you so much for that. It makes me proud to be one of the players who represented India and brought laurels to the country. I don’t think there is any bigger joy than


Photo: Fred Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

With former doubles partner Aisam Qureshi from Pakistan

representing the entire nation and its collective dream. Where do you think Indian tennis stands today? Right now we have some good young crop of players coming up. I feel if we have more international tournaments in India we will definitely see more growth in tennis and have tons of payers representing the country. Are the state tennis associations competent in India in promoting and encouraging tennis? Few associations are helping out the players which is great to see. I still feel a lot more local associations can reach out and do a lot more for

the players though. It is really good to see that the government is now supporting sport in a big way and we saw some great results recently in the Commonwealth, Asian and Olympic Games. Its truly encouraging for me personally to see various athletes from the country doing so well and it’s only going to get better. What was it like partnering Divij Sharan at the Asian Games? Playing with Divij was really good and a lot of fun. He is a very hardworking and talented player. He has had a great 2018 and has been doing very well on the ATP circuit. I get along with him very well off court as well so it was easy to communicate and play with him on court.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? When my wife takes off from her work and travels with me for tournaments I get to explore the cities and places. Normally when I travel by myself I don’t really go around the city as its boring alone. Also recently I launched my own coffee brand with Flying Squirrel so that along with my tennis academy keep me occupied. In my balance time I like reading books on building business and also watch a lot of Netflix. Are you happy with the way your career has gone? Yes absolutely. No regrets.

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Award for Best Printing Co. for Hotel Industry 2012-13

Award for Best Printing Co. for Hotel Industry 2013-14

SAHARA Q SHOP

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n August 24, 2018, exactly 5 months and 20 days after turning 38, Rohan Bopanna finally won his first medal, incidentally his first Gold for India at the Asian Games.

A double worth its gold for Rohan Boponna

BHAGYA IYYAVOO

Photo: Bhagya Iyyavoo

A month later on September 25th, he bagged the honour that had eluded him – Arjuna Award, and with that ticked off two key boxes on his career graph. At 38, Bopanna is the oldest to win his first Asiad medal in tennis. Such has been his career, especially when it came to opportunities to represent India. Success with the Indian flag has mostly come on the Davis Cup circuit for Bopanna. So those precious moments on top of the podium at Palembang, the oldest Indonesian city that hosted tennis, was special to the Coorgi lad. “It’s very special as it was my first medal and that it was gold medal made it more special. I was unfortunate to miss the last two Games and I am glad that I could be part of it this time around,” reflected Bopanna. With the former World No. 3 leading the gold quest in the absence of veteran Leander Paes, who pulled out in the last minute, the potential returns expected didn’t change. Only a few dynamics as to who will make the second doubles team had to be figured out. There were, however, no doubts with regards to India’s first team in men’s doubles despite Paes’ pullout, unhappy with the team selection. “Coming here as a seeded pair, we used it as a capital to be consistent and strive to win. However, the key is fighting together as a team,” noted Bopanna, who turned pro in 2003 and played his first Davis Cup match for India in 2002. For him it took nearly 16 years to proudly hold the

‘A Switch’ to GOLD for Bopanna-Sharan

Bopanna and Sharan with the 2018 Asian Games Gold Medals in Jakarta-Palembang

tricolour high as he went up on the podium along with Sharan to accept the medal. Bopanna never had it easy, when it came to representing India at the Games. He achieved his first ATP doubles title in 2008, and from there on his career expanded. This Karnataka star lived in the shadows of Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi. He always had to do something extra to stand out. So, when the partnership with Pakistan star Aisamul-Haq Qureshi came by, the Indo-Pak Express took off and so did Bofors career. With Indian Express duo of Paes and Bhupathi in the peak of their careers, opportunities to represent India in multi-nation events like the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and the Olympics besides the Davis Cup were far and few. And at times,

a few personal decisions too played a part. For someone, who has represented India in Davis Cup for a decade and a half, he had only a couple of chances to represent India at these Games, sometimes it was hard to grab a spot in the first team and on other instances he had made himself unavailable for national duty. Bopanna’s best attempt at Asiad before Palembang was reaching the quarterfinals in men’s doubles at the 2006 Doha Asian Games and the last 8 of the men’s team event at the 2002 Busan edition. No medal to show on his impressive resume which now has a Grand Slam title too, thanks to the French Open triumph in 2017 with Gabriela Dabrowski, becoming only the fourth Indian to win a Grand Slam title. In this backdrop, with Bopanna

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and Sharan India fielded a pair that hadn’t played much together. Following his injury at the Wimbledon Championships, the senior partner, whose participation was in doubt until he reached Palembang, competed at the Asian Games without any competitive match. “Going into the tournament, I didn’t feel 100 percent. But before the first round I felt good with Divij. I felt very confident out there. We combined well and we had a great camaraderie.” After a couple of easy rounds, the first big challenge came from Hsieh Chengpeng and Yang Tsung-Hua of Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals. The Indians were up for it and by winning the crucial points made their way into the medal round. “In the quarters, once we lost the tie-break, we played with a high percentage of first serves and we had the control and were able to win that match comfortably,” said Bopanna reflecting on their 6-3, 5-7, 10-1 win over the Taiwanese duo. “Every match together made us stronger. And the fact that we shared a good camaraderie helped us come through close matches in the quarterfinals and semifinals,” added Bopanna singing praises of his left-handed partner. Then against Japan’s Sho Shimabukuro and Kaito Uesugi in the last-four match, they were made to work hard for almost every point. However with their experience, Bopanna and Divij were able to lift their game and pull out of it unscathed. Final score read 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 but that roller-coaster victory actually set the tone for the gold medal finish. In a telephonic chat with Advantage Tennis, Bofors elaborated on the turning point. “In the semis, we were a set down and we decided to swap sides. I was on the AD court and then moved to the DEUCE court after that. We came 50

out with a plan and we had to break their rhythm in some way. So I told Divij let’s switch sides and see how it goes as we were definitely there to fight and win the match. We didn’t plan to do that, it just happened in the one and a half minutes during the break. “They had a set pattern and probably knew what to do when they saw us play in the previous rounds. But when we switched, they were completely rattled. “The fact that at one set down we changed sides and this has never happened in tennis. Tennis players very rarely do that. The last time this happened was in 2012 (partnering Mahesh Bhupathi). When you’re constantly beating them and when the opponents want to throw you off your game, some try it.” After that, there was no looking back for the top seeds as they cruised to a 6-3, 6-4 victory against the Kazakhstan pair of Aleksandr Bublik and Denis Yevseyev in the gold medal match in just 52 minutes.

The rise of Divij Sharan Many got inspired to play tennis after watching Paes and Bhupathi, Sharan’s career too took off on that note. However, podium finish is nothing new to the left-hander as he had partnered Yuki Bhambri and won the men’s doubles bronze at the Incheon Games in South Korea. But this medal definitely stands out and ‘it is right up there’ for the Delhi southpaw. The 32-year-old has risen in the last few years improving his rank and with impressive results on the tour, despite opportunities for representing India hardly coming his way. Sharan has played just one Davis Cup tie for India in 2012. As Sharan puts it, “Getting something like this is very meaningful.”

New faces shine with Bronze Ramkumar

Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

Ramanathan

was

India’s best bet at the men’s singles event. Ranked 118 in the world then and seeded No.2 in the depleted men’s draw of 64 at the Jakabaring Tennis Centre, the Tamil Nadu lad was expected to at least assure India a medal, if not repeat Somdev Devvarman’s gold-medal-winning show at the Guangzhou Games eight years back in 2010. But Ram crashed out in the prequarterfinals, losing to Uzbekistan’s Karimov Jurabek 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 and it was left-handed Pragnesh Gunneswaran, who made the most of the opportunity to seal a medal with a bit of help. In the quarterfinals against South Korea’s Kwon Soonwoo, the Prajnesh was down with cramps after squandering four match points from 6-2 in the tie-break. When the skies opened up and play was halted for 20 minutes, giving time enough for the Indian to recover and the medal was assured when he came back and served out the match, surviving a match point. Prajnesh settled for bronze after losing his men’s singles semi-final to Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 2-6, 2-6. And in the women’s category, Ankita Raina, the only girl to have featured at the Games before, in the absence of soon-to-be-mom Sania Mirza, put her hand up and delivered. A bronze in the women’s singles competition is a certification for the 25-year-old’s growth in the past one year. India’s No.1 player in women’s singles presently, fought hard in the semi-finals before settling for bronze against China’s Zhang Shuai. Ankita lost 4-6, 6-7 (6) in a gruelling contest that lasted a little over two hours. Ankita is only the second Indian woman to win a singles medal at the Asian Games, after Mirza. Sania’s silver medal at the 2006 Doha Games is still India’s best effort in women’s singles. Sania also picked up a bronze in the following edition at Guangzhou in 2010. Overall, it was a pretty good


Photo: Bhagya Iyyavoo

campaign. Still, the count could have been a lot more at Palembang. At Incheon Games, four years ago, India had returned home with 5 medals. With India’s growing stature in singles and with most of the countries fielding second string teams India had its chance to bag more than one medal in men’s singles, with the likes of Ramkumar and Prajnesh in the ranks. India coach Zeeshan Ali admitted that they missed out on a couple of medals. “The target was a medal in all five events. Ram was a big disappointment in singles. Expected a lot from the second seed, he had been playing good tennis over the last six months. Disappointed that he played a wrong tactical match, doing things that he was not comfortable doing (serve and volley). There was a medal prospect right there,” reflected Ali. “It was pretty good considering the last minute pull-out, not having our number one men’s singles player (Yuki Bhambri), number one women’s doubles player (Sania Mirza) and Leander not coming. With the team that we had, we did okay.”

India have been favourites in the men’s double competition since 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima when Paes won with Gaurav Natekar, and opened his account as a 21-year-old. Since then, Paes remains the most successful Indian men’s doubles player with 8 medals, including 5 gold. And with Bhupathi (back-toback gold medals in the 2002 and 2006 Games) he makes India’s most successful men’s doubles duo in Asiad history. Among racquet sports, tennis has traditionally been Indian’s strongest point at the Asiad since the sport was included in 1958. With three medals at the 2018 edition, the tally is now 32 medals, far ahead of badminton and squash that have just 10 and 13, respectively.

Is Indian tennis on track for Tokyo Olympics? Performance in Games like these is always used to measure up players. There are many Indians presently active on the tour not just in doubles, but also in singles. There’s a healthy bunch of youngsters who are rising up the ranks too. It is too early to

start the debate as to whether we have the talent to win an Olympic medal. But we can safely say that Indian tennis is looking up and the attitude of players look promising. For instance, Bopanna has represented India in doubles at two Olympic Games in 2012 and 2016 under controversial circumstances. Whether he will be available for the next Olympics is still debatable. But if he maintains his level and retains a healthy doubles ranking he will be the one to lead the way in the doubles events. Like most athletes on the wrong side of the 30s, he is going to be a step slower with time. On July 24, 2020 when Tokyo Olympics kicks off he will be 40 and it will be a challenge to step up. “It is at least 6 Grand Slams away, so I have to continue doing well in the ATP tournaments and these Grand Slams. When Olympics comes around, definitely that will be a priority… to win a medal.” Bopanna may have the opportunity to win that elusive medal in doubles that the Lee-Hesh combo couldn’t get. Will he create that opportunity for himself? Only time will tell.

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Divij Sharan is a man on a mission. After his Gold Medal win with doubles partner Rohan Bopanna, there seems to be no looking back. Fresh from winning his fourth career doubles title at the Tata Open in Pune earlier this month, Divij Photo: Bhagya Iyyavoo

is at his career-high ranking of No. 36 on the ATP rankings. In this exclusive interview with Advantage Tennis, Divij Sharan opens up about life after his Gold Medal win at the Asian Games and his plans for the future. You have been a successful doubles player having won four ATP world tour titles and are currently ranked 37. With the 2018 season coming to an end soon, what are your goals for 2019? It has been another positive year and in the last year my performance graph has been improving. At the end of last year I was ranked just inside the top 100, and this year I made it to No. 36. The quarter final at Wimbledon and the gold medal at the Asian games have been my best performance last year. I am very happy with my progress and it is just a matter of getting a few big results. My goal for this year is to crack into the top 20 and I am working hard towards it. In 2018, you made it to the quarter finals of the Wimbledon Championships. Is a Grand Slam doubles title getting to be a close and achievable goal? I made it to the quarter finals of Wimbledon I won three matches and I was just three matches away from winning the title. I have played 52

DIVIJ SHARAN An interview

some long close matches against the top teams in the world. I played against Lopez and Lopez in Paris recently who have won a few Grand Slams. These wins have been very encouraging for me and I don’t see why I cannot win a Grand Slam title, Ofcourse I would have to strike a few matches together to win a big event and I have to win six matches in a row, but I am feeling positive and believe strongly in my game. You have done India proud by winning the Gold medal in the men’s doubles event at the Palembang Asian games earlier this year. Are your sights now set on an Olympic medal?

Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

The Olympics are still two years away. My job is to keep playing better and improving on my results. Ofcourse it would be very special if a get a chance to play for India and win a medal. What did winning the Gold at the Asian games mean to your career? Tennis is an individual sports. I play for about 30 weeks a year on the circuit but playing for the Asian games was very exciting as there were athletes from different fields representing India and in such events like the Asian games, Olympics and the Davis cup, our wins get highlighted. Winning the Gold medal means a lot to me but along with me, my parents, my coaches and my team got recognition for our achievements. The effort we have been putting in and the sacrifices that have been made by them for me and my career all came into recognition. What has been the best win in your career? It is tough to say but the Gold


You have partnered with a number of players in your career. Who has been your best partner? I have played with a lot of players through the years. Initially I played a lot with Vishnu during my transition period from the Futures to the Challengers. I have also played a lot of matches with Yuki. I played almost three years with him. I have played with lots of players for example, after the U.S. Open 2017 till Wimbledon 2018, I must have played with 20 odd partners. Every week was a different guy. It was difficult in the beginning to try and constantly find a partner to play with. But it gave me a chance to focus on myself and my game rather than worry about which partner to play with and how my partner is playing.

Photo: Bhagya Iyyavoo

medal at the Asian Games and quarter final at Wimbledon have been my best wins.

What was your partnership with Rohan Bopanna like during the Asian Games? We have known each other for a very long time and we really get along. We have both been a part of Indian Oil for a long time. Every time we are at an ATP tournament or at Grand Slams, we practice together. So when we played together at the Asian Games, it did not feel new because we are very familiar with each other. He makes me feel comfortable on the court and ofcourse he has a lot of experience which also helps. Do you see your partnership with Rohan Bopanna going any further? Well, I am glad you asked me that question. Infact we are going to play doubles in 2019 together. What made you want to become a tennis player? Basically when I was young I was a very sporty kid .I used to take part in races and in school sports days. Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

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Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019


I used to play all kinds of sports. When I was about 7–8 years old they opened a tennis academy in my school (Modern School Vasant Vihar, New Delhi). One day my dad asked me if I wanted to play tennis and I said yes why not. That is how I got into tennis. After two years of playing I won my first tournament and when I was 13 years old I played for Delhi state. When I was 14 years old I played Junior Davis Cup and when I was 18 years old, I played all the Junior Grand Slam events. That is when I took a conscious decision to become a tennis player. What do you enjoy apart from tennis? I don’t get too much time to do other things. I have my warm ups, my fitness routine and my practice which takes up a lot of time. When I get time off I like to catch up with my family and I prefer going for a movie and watching TV shows. I like spending time with my family because I don’t have too much free time so I try to eat at home and to be with them. Do you feel lonely at the tour? Most of the guys all get along. We all are friends off the court and competitors on the court. On the doubles side we now have quite lot of players from India. It is not that bad at all. Amongst the Asian countries, China and Japan have found success in tennis on the international scene. Why hasn’t India managed to produce a Grand Slam player in singles till now? It is not that easy. Tennis is a sport that is played in every country but it is just one person or very few people that are excelling at it. We need a sports culture, which has not been there in India in the past. When I was growing up and I was very young, parents would say that why do you want to take up sports and that there

is no scope in sports. Most parents were not comfortable with their kids taking up sports as a career but my parents were very supportive of me and that made it a lot easier. Now things are changing in India. There are so many league sports in India. There are so many opportunities in India now. You can be a coach, you can be a television commentator. There are so many options now. The government is also helping a lot now and supporting sports. After we won the Asian games gold medal, we got prizes and also cash awards from the central and state government. These are all positive effects on sports in India today.

Winning the Gold medal means a lot to me but along with me, my parents, my coaches and my team got recognition for our achievements. Are there international standard academies in India to help nurture the talent of our youngsters? A combination of so many things is required for players to come through to the top of the game. Parental support is very important. Tennis is a very expensive sport so you need financial support as well. A good coach is also very important, a coach who has passion for the game and wants to promote a world class player and not just someone who wants to coach to earn his livelihood. I feel the quality of training in our country is still not as good as it should be. There are some very good coaches at the higher level of tennis but we also need proper coaching when kids just start to play at the young age of 5-6 years. So yes, more academies and coaching facilities would help.

Does the popularity of cricket in India overshadow the other sports in our country? Cricket is the most popular sport in India and is followed by almost every Indian. I feel that earlier Indians were only interested in cricket but now they have developed interest in other sports as well. Now in India there is more exposure and awareness in other sports and people are developing interest in sports other than cricket. For example today Mary Kom is a household name in India because of her success in boxing and she has inspired many youngsters in India. The same goes for other such sports as well. Is there political interference in tennis in India? I don’t think so. Tennis is an individual sport and your results speak for themselves. So there really can’t be too much political interference. How active is the AITA been in promoting tennis in India? I have been playing and supporting myself in tennis. In the past, I know that the AITA has been organising some juniors programs but I don’t know what they are doing now. I am not taking any support from them. I support myself. Why is success in singles still eluding the Indians? We have had a few players who have broken into the top 100 in singles. Somdev and Yuki have been in the top 100. We currently have three players in the top 150. But I think it’s a matter of one player to make a breakthrough and to reach the top of the game. The more exposure players get and the more popular tennis becomes as a sport in India, the more the chances are of producing better players. Are you happy with your career? Yes, for sure.

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Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Photo: Fred Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

WTA Rankings As on 14 January 2019

Angelique Kerber

Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova

SINGLES Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

56

Name/Country Simona Halep [ROU] Angelique Kerber [GER] Caroline Wozniacki [DEN] Naomi Osaka [JPN] Sloane Stephens [USA] Petra Kvitova [CZE] Elina Svitolina [UKR] Karolina Pliskova [CZE] Kiki Bertens [NED] Daria Kasatkina [RUS] Aryna Sabalenka [BLR] Anastasija Sevastova [LAT] Julia Goerges [GER] Elise Mertens [BEL] Ashleigh Barty [AUS] Serena Williams [USA] Madison Keys [USA] Garbiñe Muguruza [ESP] Caroline Garcia [FRA] Anett Kontaveit [EST] Qiang Wang [CHN] Jelena Ostapenko [LAT] Carla Suárez Navarro [ESP] Lesia Tsurenko [UKR] Dominika Cibulkova [SVK] Mihaela Buzarnescu [ROU] Su-Wei Hsieh [TPE] Camila Giorgi [ITA] Donna Vekic [CRO] Maria Sharapova [RUS] Aliaksandra Sasnovich [BLR] Petra Martic [CRO] Barbora Strycova [CZE] Katerina Siniakova [CZE] Danielle Collins [USA] Venus Williams [USA] Sofia Kenin [USA] Johanna Konta [GBR] Yulia Putintseva [KAZ] Saisai Zheng [CHN] Daria Gavrilova [AUS] Shuai Zhang [CHN] Maria Sakkari [GRE] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova [RUS] Kristina Mladenovic [FRA] Alizé Cornet [FRA] Ajla Tomljanovic [AUS] Viktoria Kuzmova [SVK] Belinda Bencic [SUI] Kirsten Flipkens [BEL]

DOUBLES Points 6642 5505 5436 5270 5077 5000 4940 4750 4490 3415 3365 3160 3055 2985 2985 2976 2976 2865 2660 2525 2485 2362 2153 1896 1735 1700 1680 1645 1580 1552 1513 1465 1331 1330 1322 1265 1259 1255 1233 1224 1205 1190 1164 1160 1155 1140 1127 1119 1106 1070

Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

Rank 1 2 3 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 18 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 28 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

Name/Country Katerina Siniakova [CZE] Barbora Krejcikova [CZE] Kristina Mladenovic [FRA] Timea Babos [HUN] Barbora Strycova [CZE] Ekaterina Makarova [RUS] Ashleigh Barty [AUS] Andrea Sestini Hlavackova [CZE] Demi Schuurs [NED] Gabriela Dabrowski [CAN] Kveta Peschke [CZE] Elise Mertens [BEL] Nicole Melichar [USA] Coco Vandeweghe [USA] Yifan Xu [CHN] Elena Vesnina [RUS] Su-Wei Hsieh [TPE] Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez [ESP] Andreja Klepac [SLO] Latisha Chan [TPE] Hao-Ching Chan [TPE] Makoto Ninomiya [JPN] Katarina Srebotnik [SLO] Zhaoxuan Yang [CHN] Alicja Rosolska [POL] Irina-Camelia Begu [ROU] Mihaela Buzarnescu [ROU] Raquel Atawo [USA] Anna-Lena Groenefeld [GER] Abigail Spears [USA] Eri Hozumi [JPN] Lucie Hradecka [CZE] Shuai Zhang [CHN] Kirsten Flipkens [BEL] Vania King [USA] Johanna Larsson [SWE] Nadiia Kichenok [UKR] Jelena Ostapenko [LAT] Shuko Aoyama [JPN] Lyudmyla Kichenok [UKR] Monica Niculescu [ROU] Lara Arruabarrena [ESP] Raluca Olaru [ROU] Lidziya Marozava [BLR] Miyu Kato [JPN] Aleksandra Krunic [SRB] Heather Watson [GBR] Darija Jurak [CRO] Vera Zvonareva [RUS] Dalila Jakupovic [SLO]

Points 8130 7780 7765 7765 6535 6205 5917 5775 5735 4800 4525 4295 4245 4097 4085 3725 3650 3575 3575 3010 2900 2883 2800 2640 2605 2535 2515 2445 2445 2390 2359 2346 2130 2020 1935 1910 1840 1835 1815 1810 1769 1745 1740 1730 1713 1690 1672 1655 1636 1620


Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

ATP Rankings As on 14 January 2019

Juan Martin del Potro

Mike Bryan and Jack Sock

SINGLES Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

Name/Country Novak Djokovic [SRB] Rafael Nadal [ESP] Roger Federer [SUI] Alexander Zverev [GER] Juan Martin del Potro [ARG] Kevin Anderson [RSA] Marin Cilic [CRO] Dominic Thiem [AUT] Kei Nishikori [JPN] John Isner [USA] Karen Khachanov [RUS] Borna Coric [CRO] Fabio Fognini [ITA] Kyle Edmund [GBR] Stefanos Tsitsipas [GRE] Diego Schwartzman [ARG] Milos Raonic [CAN] Marco Cecchinato [ITA] Daniil Medvedev [RUS] Nikoloz Basilashvili [GEO] Grigor Dimitrov [BUL] David Goffin [BEL] Pablo Carreno Busta [ESP] Roberto Bautista Agut [ESP] Hyeon Chung [KOR] Richard Gasquet [FRA] Denis Shapovalov [CAN] Fernando Verdasco [ESP] Alex de Minaur [AUS] Gilles Simon [FRA] Lucas Pouille [FRA] Philipp Kohlschreiber [GER] Gael Monfils [FRA] Steve Johnson [USA] Andreas Seppi [ITA] Jeremy Chardy [FRA] John Millman [AUS] Marton Fucsovics [HUN] Frances Tiafoe [USA] Martin Klizan [SVK] Tennys Sandgren [USA] Adrian Mannarino [FRA] Malek Jaziri [TUN] Joao Sousa [POR] Nicolas Jarry [CHI] Dusan Lajovic [SRB] Damir Dzumhur [BIH] Matthew Ebden [AUS] Sam Querrey [USA] Taylor Fritz [USA]

DOUBLES Points 9,135 7,480 6,420 6,385 5,150 4,810 4,160 4,095 3,750 3,155 2,835 2,435 2,315 2,150 2,095 1,925 1,900 1,889 1,865 1,820 1,790 1,785 1,705 1,605 1,585 1,535 1,440 1,410 1,353 1,280 1,245 1,215 1,195 1,190 1,170 1,120 1,108 1,094 1,080 1,063 1,058 1,045 1,042 1,017 1,015 1,010 985 981 975 964

Rank 1 2 3 4 5T 5T 7T 7T 9 10 11 12 13 14 15T 15T 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28T 28T 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

Name/Country Mike Bryan [USA] Jack Sock [USA] Mate Pavic [CRO] Oliver Marach [AUT] Juan Sebastian Cabal [COL] Robert Farah [COL] Jamie Murray [GBR] Bruno Soares [BRA] Marcelo Melo [BRA] Lukasz Kubot [POL] Nicolas Mahut [FRA] Pierre-Hugues Herbert [FRA] Bob Bryan [USA] Nikola Mektic [CRO] Raven Klaasen [RSA] Michael Venus [NZL] Alexander Peya [AUT] Ben McLachlan [JPN] Jean-Julien Rojer [NED] Dominic Inglot [GBR] Jan-Lennard Struff [GER] Rajeev Ram [USA] Marcel Granollers [ESP] Edouard Roger-Vasselin [FRA] Franko Skugor [CRO] Horia Tecau [ROU] Joe Salisbury [GBR] Henri Kontinen [FIN] John Peers [AUS] Horacio Zeballos [ARG] Marc Lopez [ESP] Neal Skupski [GBR] Feliciano Lopez [ESP] Rohan Bopanna [IND] Artem Sitak [NZL] Ivan Dodig [CRO] Divij Sharan [IND] Matwe Middelkoop [NED] Robin Haase [NED] Wesley Koolhof [NED] Julio Peralta [CHI] Austin Krajicek [USA] Maximo Gonzalez [ARG] Marcus Daniell [NZL] Joao Sousa [POR] Robert Lindstedt [SWE] Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi [PAK] Pablo Cuevas [URU] Andres Molteni [ARG] Nicolas Jarry [CHI]

Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

Points 10,840 7,925 7,200 7,130 6,200 6,200 5,550 5,550 5,110 5,110 4,880 4,540 4,445 4,400 4,320 4,320 4,090 3,460 3,270 3,200 3,180 3,150 2,788 2,780 2,665 2,610 2,587 2,535 2,535 2,469 2,435 2,365 2,300 2,275 2,265 2,180 2,165 2,060 2,000 1,955 1,904 1,885 1,821 1,809 1,725 1,680 1,650 1,649 1,597 1,560

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2018 WTA Tour Final Results Date / City / Country / Winner

Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

July 29 Moscow, Russia singles: Danilovic, Olga doubles: Potapova, Anastasia / Zvonareva, Vera

Jan 06 Brisbane, Australia singles: Svitolina, Elina doubles: Schuurs, Demi / Bertens, Kiki

August 05 Sanjose, USA singles: Buzarnescu, Mihaela doubles: Peschke, Kveta / Chan, Latisha

Jan 06 Shen Zhen, China singles: Halep, Simona doubles: Begu, Irinacamelia / Halep, Simona

August 05 Washington, USA Kuznetsova, Svetlana doubles: Han, Xinyun / Jurak, Darija saingles:

Jan 06 Auckland, NewZealand singles: Goerges, Julia doubles: Errani, Sara / Schoofs, Bibiane

August 12 Montreal, Canada Halep, Simona doubles: Schuurs, Demi / Barty, Ashleigh

Jan 13 Sydney, Australia singles: Kerber, Angelique doubles: Xu, Yifan / Dabrowski, Gabriela

singles:

August 19 Cincinati,USA singles: Bertens, Kiki doubles: Hradecka, Lucie / Makarova, Ekaterina

Jan 13 Hobart International, singles: Mertens, Elise doubles: Schuurs, Demi / Mertens, Elise Jan 28 USA singles: Collins, Danielle doubles: Teichmann, Jil / Doi, Misaki

Simona Halep Barbora

Feb 04 Saint Peter singles: Kvitova, Petra doubles: Zvonareva, Vera / Bacsinszky, Timea Feb 04 Taipei City, singles: Babos, Timea doubles: Wang, Yafan / Duan, Yingying Feb 18 Doha, Qatar singles: Kvitova, Petra doubles: Dabrowski, Gabriela / Ostapenko, Jelena Feb 25 Budapest, Hungary singles: Van Uytvanck, Alison doubles: Stollar, Fanny / Garcia Perez, Georgina

May 05 Prague, Czech Republic singles: Kvitova, Petra doubles: Melichar, Nicole / Peschke, Kveta May 12 Madrid, Spain singles: Kvitova, Petra Vesnina, Elena / Makarova, Ekaterina

doubles:

May 20 Rome, Italy singles: Svitolina, Elina Schuurs, Demi / Barty, Ashleigh

doubles:

Feb 24 Dubai, United Arab Emirates singles: Svitolina, Elina doubles: Yang, Zhaoxuan / Chan, Hao-ching

May 26 Nurnberg, Germany singles: Larsson, Johanna doubles: Schuurs, Demi / Srebotnik, Katarina

March 03 Oracle Challenger Series singles: Errani, Sara doubles: Wickmayer, Yanina / Townsend, Taylor

May 26 Strasbourg, France singles: Pavlyuchenkova, Anastasia doubles: Olaru, Raluca / Buzarnescu, Mihaela

March 03 Acapulco, Mexico singles: Tsurenko, Lesia doubles: Watson, Heather / Maria, Tatjana

doubles:

March 18 Indian Wells, USA singles: Osaka, Naomi doubles: Strycova, Barbora / Hsieh, Su-wei

June 10 Paris, France singles: Halep, Simona Krejcikova, Barbora / Siniakova, Katerina

June 10 Bol, Croatia singles: Zidansek, Tamara doubles: Duque-mariño, Mariana / Wang, Yafan

doubles:

March 31 Miami, USA singles: Stephens, Sloane Barty, Ashleigh / Vandeweghe, Coco

June 17 Nottingham, Great Britain singles: Barty, Ashleigh doubles: Spears, Abigail / Rosolska, Alicja

April 08 Charleston, USA singles: Bertens, Kiki doubles: Srebotnik, Katarina / Kudryavtseva, Alla

June 17 S-Hertogenbosch, Netherland singles: Krunic, Aleksandra doubles: Schuurs, Demi / Mertens, Elise

April 08 Monterrey, Mexico singles: Muguruza, Garbiñe doubles: Sorribes Tormo, Sara / Broady, Naomi

June 24 Mallorca, Spain singles: Maria, Tatjana doubles: Klepac, Andreja / Martinez Sanchez, Maria Jose

April 15 Lugano, Switzerland singles: Mertens, Elise doubles: Flipkens, Kirsten / Mertens, Elise

June 24 Birmingham, Great Britain singles: Kvitova, Petra doubles: Mladenovic, Kristina / Babos, Timea

April 15 Bogota, Switzerland singles: Schmiedlova, Anna Karolina doubles: Jakupovic, Dalila / Khromacheva, Irina April 22 Zhengzhou, China singles: Zheng, Saisai doubles: Wang, Yafan / Duan, Yingying April 29 Stuttgart, Germany singles: Pliskova, Karolina doubles: Atawo, Raquel / Groenefeld, Anna-lena April 30 Anning, China singles: Khromacheva, Irina doubles: Jakupovic, Dalila / Khromacheva, Irina May 05 Rabat, Morocco singles: Mertens, Elise Blinkova, Anna / Olaru, Raluca

doubles:

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August 25 New Heaven, singles: Sabalenka, Aryna, doubles: Sestini Hlavackova, Andrea / Strycova, Sep 09 Flushing Meadows, USA singles: Osaka, Naomi doubles: Vandeweghe, Coco / Barty, Ashleigh Sep 09 Chicago, USA singles: Martic, Petra Pliskova, Kristyna / Barthel, Mona

doubles:

Sep 16 singles:, Japan singles: Hsieh, Su-wei Zhang, Shuai / Hozumi, Eri

doubles:

Sep 16 Quebec, Canada singles: Parmentier, Pauline doubles: Muhammad, Asia / Sanchez, Maria Sep 22 Guangzhou, China singles: Wang, Qiang doubles: Adamczak, Monique / Moore, Jessica Sep 23 Seoul, Korea singles: Bertens, Kiki Han, Na-lae / Choi, Ji-hee

doubles:

Sep 23 Tokyo, Japan singles: Pliskova, Karolina Kato, Miyu / Ninomiya, Makoto

doubles:

Oct 14 Linz, Austria singles: Giorgi, Camila Flipkens, Kirsten / Larsson, Johanna

doubles:

Oct 14 Hong Kong, China singles: Yastremska, Dayana doubles: Stosur, Samantha / Zhang, Shuai Oct 14 Tianjin, China singles: Garcia, Caroline Melichar, Nicole / Peschke, Kveta

doubles:

Oct 20 Luxembourg singles: Goerges, Julia Van Uytvanck, Alison / Minnen, Greet

doubles:

Oct 20 Moscow, Russia singles: Kasatkina, Daria doubles: Siegemund, Laura / Panova, Alexandra Oct 28 Singapore singles: Svitolina, Elina Babos, Timea / Mladenovic, Kristina

doubles:

June 30 Eastbourne, Great Britain singles: Wozniacki, Caroline doubles: Dabrowski, Gabriela / Xu, Yifan

Nov 04 Mumbai, India singles: Kumkhum, Luksika doubles: Kudermetova, Veronika / Dzalamidze, Natela

July 15 Wimbledon, Great Britain singles: Kerber, Angelique doubles: Krejcikova, Barbora / Siniakova, Katerina

doubles:

July 22 Bucharest, Romania singles: Sevastova, Anastasija doubles: Mitu, Andreea / Begu, Irina-camelia July 22 Gstaad, Switzerland singles: Cornet, Alizé doubles: Guarachi, Alexa / Krawczyk, Desirae

Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

Nov 04 Zhuhai, China singles: Barty, Ashleigh Kichenok, Lyudmyla / Kichenok, Nadiia

Nov 11 Limoges, France singles: Alexandrova, Ekaterina doubles: Kudermetova, Veronika / Voskoboeva, Galina Nov 18 Houston, USA singles: Peng, Shuai Pegula, Jessica / Manasse, Maegan

doubles:

Nov 18 Taipei, singles: Kumkhum, Luksika Raina, Ankita / Thandi, Karman

doubles:


2018 ATP Tour Final Results Date / City / Country / Winner

Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Jul 23 Atlanta, United States John Isner doubles: Nicholas Monroe, John-Patrick Smith

singles:

Dec 31 Brisbane, Australia singles: Nick Kyrgios doubles: Henrikontinen

Jul 23 Gstaad, Switzerland singles: Matteo Berrettini doubles: Daniele Bracciali Matteo Berrettini

Jan 01 Doha, Qatar singles: Gael Monfils doubles: Oliver Marach, Mate Pavic

Jul 30 Washington, United States Alexander Zverev doubles: Jamie Murray, Bruno Soares

singles:

Jan 01 Tata Open, Maharashtra Gilles Simon doubles: Robin Haase/Matwe Middelkoop

singles:

Jul 30 Los Cabos, Mexico singles: Fabio Fognini doubles: Marcelo Arevalo, Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela

Jan 07 Sydney, Australia singles: Daniil Medvedev doubles: Lukasz Kubot, Marcelo Melo

Jul 30 Kitzbuhel, Austria singles: Martin Klizan doubles: Roman Jebavy, Andres Molteni

Jan 08 Auckland, New Zealand Roberto Bautista doubles: Oliver Marach, MATE Pavic

singles:

Aug 06 Toronto, Canada singles: Rafael Nadal doubles: Henri Kontinen, John Peers

Jan 15 Melbourne, Australia singles: Rogerer Fedrer doubles: Oliver Marach, Mate Pavic Feb 05 Ecuador Open singles: Roberto Carballes doubles: Nicolas Jarry, Hans Podlipnik Castillo Feb 05 Montpellier, France singles: Lucas Pouille doubles: Ken Skupski, Neal Skupski Feb 05 Sofia, Bulgaria singles: Mirza Basic doubles: Robin Haase,Matwe Middelkoop Feb 12 Rotterdam, Netherlands singles: Roger Federer doubles: Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Nicolas Mahut Feb 12 New York, United States singles: Kevin Anderson doubles: Max Mirnyi Philipp Oswald Feb 12 Buenos Aires, Argentina singles: Dominic Thiem doubles: Andres Molteni, Horaciozeballos Feb 19 Rio Open singles: Diego Schwartzman, David Marrero, Fernando Verdasco

doubles:

Feb 19 Marseille, France singles: Karen Khachanov doubles: Raven Klaasen Michael Venus Feb 19 Delray Beach, United States singles: Frances Tiafoe doubles: Jack Sock Jackson Withrow

Del Potro with Djokovic Apr 23 Munich, Germany singles: Alexander Zverev doubles: Ivan Dodig, Rajeev Ram Apr 30 Estoril, Portugal singles: Joao Sousa doubles: Kyle Edmund, Cameron Norrie Apr 30 Istanbul, Turkey singles: Taro Daniel Dominic Inglot, Robert Lindstedt

doubles:

May 06 Madrid, Spain singles: Alexander Zverev doubles: Nikola Mektic, Alexander Peya May 13 Rome, Italy singles: Rafael Nadal doubles: Juan Sebastian Cabal, Robert Farah May 20 Lyon, France singles: Dominic Thiem Nick Kyrgios Jack Sock

doubles:

May 21 Geneva, Switzerland singles: Marton Fucsovics doubles: Oliver Marach, Mate Pavic May 27 Paris, France singles: Rafael Nadal Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Nicolas Mahut

doubles:

Jun 11 Stuttgart, Germany singles: Roger Federer doubles: Philipp Petzschner, Tim Puetz Jun 11 S-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands Richard Gasquet doubles: Dominic Inglot ,Franko Skugor

singles:

Aug 12 Cincinnati, United States Novak Djokovic doubles: Jamie Murray ,Bruno Soares singles:

Aug 19 Winston-Salem, United States singles: Daniil Medvedev doubles: Jean-Julien Rojer, Horia Tecau Aug 27 New York, United States singles: Novak Djokovic doubles: Mike Bryan, Jack Sock Sep 17 St. Petersburg, Russia singles: Dominic Thiem doubles: Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini Sep 17 Metz, France singles: Gilles Simon Nicolas Mahut ,Edouard RogerVasselin

doubles:

Sep 24 Chengdu, China singles: Bernard Tomic Ivan Dodig Mate, Pavic

doubles:

Sep 24 Shenzhen, China singles: Yoshihito Nishioka doubles: Ben Mclachlan, Joe Salisbury Oct 01 Beijing, China singles: Nikoloz Basilashvili doubles: Lukasz Kubot, Marcelo Melo Oct 01 Tokyo, Japan singles: Daniil Medvedev Ben Mclachlan ,Jan-Lennard Struff

doubles:

Oct 07 Shanghai, China singles: Novak Djokovic doubles: Lukasz Kubot, Marcelo Melo

Feb 26 Dubai, United Arab Emirates singles: Roberto Bautista Agut doubles: Jean-Julien Rojer, Horia Tecau

Jun 18 London, Great Britain singles: Marin Cilic doubles: Henri Kontinen, John Peers

Feb 26 Acapulco, Mexico singles: Juan Martin del Potro doubles: Jamie Murray Bruno Soares

doubles:

Feb 26 Sao Paulo, Brazil singles: Fabio Fognini doubles: Federico Delbonis ,Maximo Gonzalez

Jun 24 Antalya, Turkey singles: Damir Dzumhur doubles: Marcelo Demoliner, Santiago Gonzalez

doubles:

Mar 08 Indian Wells, United States singles: Juan Martin del Potro doubles: John Isner, Jack Sock

Jun 25 Eastbourne, Great Britain singles: Mischa Zverev doubles: Luke Bambridge, Jonny O’mara

Oct 15 Stockholm, Sweden singles: Stefanos Tsitsipas doubles: Luke Bambridge ,Jonny O’mara

Mar 21 Miami, United States singles: John Isner doubles: Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan

Jul 02 London, Great Britain singles: Novak Djokovic doubles: Mike Bryan, Jack Sock

doubles:

Apr 09 Houston, United States singles: Steve Johnson doubles: Nikola Mektic, Alexander Peya

Jul 16 Newport, United States singles: Steve Johnson doubles: Jonathan Erlich Artem Sitak

Jun 18 Halle, Germany singles: Borna Coric Lukasz Kubot ,Marcelo Melo

Oct 15 Moscow, Russia singles: Karen Khachanov doubles: Austin Krajicek, Rajeev Ram Oct 15 Antwerp, Belgium singles: Kyle Edmund Nicolas Mahut, Edouard RogerVasselin

Oct 22 Vienna, Austria singles: Kevin Anderson Neal Skupski, Joe Salisbury

Oct 22 Neal Skupski Joe Salisbury singles: Roger Federer doubles: Dominic Inglot, Franko Skugor

Apr 15 Monte Carlo, Monaco singles: Rafael Nadal doubles: Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan

Jul 16 Umag, Croatia singles: Marco Cecchinato doubles: Robin Haase, Matwe Middelkoop

doubles:

Apr 23 Barcelona, Spain singles: Rafael Nadal Feliciano Lopez Marc Lopez

doubles:

Jul 16 Bastad, Sweden singles: Fabio Fognini Julio Peralta, Horacio Zeballos

doubles:

Apr 23 Budapest, Hungary singles: Marco Cecchinato doubles: Dominic Inglot, Franko Skugor

Jul 23 Hamburg, Germany singles: Nikoloz Basilashvil doubles: Julio Peralta, Horacio Zeballos

Nov 11 London, Great Britain singles: Alexander Zverev doubles: Mike Bryan, Jack Sock

Oct 29 Paris, France singles: Karen Khachanov Marcel Granollers, Rajeev Ram

doubles:

Nov 06 Milan, Italy singles: Stefanos Tsitsipas ?????

Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

59


Photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

WTA Tour Calendar 2019 Date 30 Dec - 05 Jan 31 Dec - 06 Jan 31 Dec - 06 Jan 07 Jan - 12 Jan 07 Jan - 12 Jan 14 Jan - 26 Jan 21 Jan - 27 Jan 28 Jan - 03 Feb 28 Jan - 03 Feb 11 Feb - 16 Feb 17 Feb - 23 Feb 18 Feb - 24 Feb 25 Feb - 03 Mar 25 Feb - 02 Mar 06 Mar - 17 Mar 11 Mar - 16 Mar 19 Mar - 30 Mar 01 Apr - 07 Apr 01 Apr - 07 Apr 08 Apr - 14 Apr 08 Apr - 14 Apr 15 Apr - 21 Apr 22 Apr - 28 Apr 22 Apr - 28 Apr 29 Apr - 04 May 29 Apr - 04 May 29 Apr - 04 May 04 May - 11 May 13 May - 19 May 19 May - 25 May 19 May - 25 May 26 May - 08 Jun 04 Jun - 09 Jun 10 Jun - 16 Jun 10 Jun - 16 Jun 17 Jun - 23 Jun 17 Jun - 23 Jun 23 Jun - 29 Jun 01 Jul - 13 Jul 08 Jul - 14 Jul 15 Jul - 21 Jul 15 Jul - 21 Jul 22 Jul - 28 Jul 22 Jul - 28 Jul 29 Jul - 04 Aug 29 Jul - 04 Aug 05 Aug - 11 Aug 12 Aug - 18 Aug 18 Aug - 24 Aug 26 Aug - 07 Sep 02 Sep - 08 Sep 09 Sep - 15 Sep 09 Sep - 15 Sep 09 Sep - 15 Sep 16 Sep - 22 Sep 16 Sep - 21 Sep 16 Sep - 22 Sep 22 Sep - 28 Sep 23 Sep - 28 Sep 28 Sep - 06 Oct 07 Oct - 13 Oct 07 Oct - 13 Oct 07 Oct - 13 Oct 14 Oct - 20 Oct 14 Oct - 20 Oct 22 Oct - 27 Oct 27 Oct - 03 Nov

60

Tournament Shenzhen Open ASB Classic Brisbane International Hobart International Sydney International Australian Open Oracle Challenger Series St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy Thailand Open Qatar Total Open 2019 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Hungarian Ladies Open Oracle Challenger Series Abierto Mexicano TELCEL BNP Paribas Open Abierto De Zapopan Miami Open presented by Itau Abierto GNP Seguros Volvo Car Open Claro Open Colsanitas Samsung Open presented by Corner 2019 Zhengzhou Women’s Tennis Open TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup Porsche Tennis Grand Prix J&T Banka Prague Open 2019 Kunming Open Grand Prix De SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem Mutua Madrid Open Internazionali BNL d’Italia Internationaux de Strasbourg Nurnberger Versicherungs Cup 2019 Championnats Internationaux de France Bol Open ‘S-hertogenbosch Libema Open Nature Valley Open Mallorca Open Nature Valley Classic Nature Valley International The Championships Swedish Open Women Ladies Championship Gstaad Bucharest Open Moscow River Cup Palermo Ladies Open Citi Open Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Coupe Rogers Western & Southern Open Connecticut Open Tennis 2019 US Open Tennis Championships Oracle Challenger Series Hana-cupid Japan Women’s Open Coupe Banque Nationale Jiangxi Open Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis Tournament Guangzhou Open Korea Open Wuhan Open Tashkent Open China Open Tianjin Open Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open Upper Austria Ladies Linz VTB Kremlin Cup BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open Zhuhai WTA Elite Trophy Shenzhen WTA Finals

Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

City/Country Shenzhen, China Auckland, New Zealand Brisbane, Australia Hobart, Australia Sydney, Australia Melbourne, Australia Newport Beach, USA St. Petersburg, Russia Hua Hin, Thailand Doha, QATAR Dubai, UAE Budapest, Hungary Indian Wells, USA Acapulco, Mexico Indian Wells, USA Guadalajara, Mexico Miami, USA Monterrey, Mexico Charleston, USA Bogota, Colombia Lugano, Switzerland Zhengzhou, China Istanbul, Turkey Stuttgart, Germany Prague, Czech Rep Anning, China Rabat, Morocco Madrid, Spain Rome, Italy Strasbourg, France Nurnberger, Germany Paris, France Bol, Croatia - Netherlands Nottingham, Great Britain Mallorca, Spain Birmingham, Great Britain Eastbourne, Great Britain Wimbledon, Great Britain Bastad, Sweden Gstaad, Switzerland Bucharest, Romania Moscow, Russia Palermo, Italy Washington, USA San Jose, USA Toronto, Canada Cincinnati, USA New Haven, USA Flushing Meadows, USA Chicago, USA Hiroshima, Japan Quebec City, Canada Nanchang, China Tokyo, Japan Guamgzhou, China Seoul, Korea Wuhan, China Tashkent, Uzbekistan Beijing, China Tianjin, China Hong Kong, China Linz, Austria Moscow, Russia Luxembourg Zhuhai, China Shenzhen, China

Prize Money $ 750,000 $ 250,000 $ 1,000,000 $ 250,000 $ 823,000 - - $ 823,000 $ 250,000 - $ 2,828,000 $ 250,000 125K $ 250,000 - 125K - $ 250,000 $ 823,000 $ 250,000 $ 250,000 - $ 250,000 - $ 250,000 125K $ 250,000 - - $ 250,000 $ 250,000 - 125K $ 250,000 $ 250,000 $ 250,000 - - - - $ 250,000 $ 250,000 $ 250,000 $ 250,000 $ 250,000 - - - - - - $ 250,000 $ 250,000 $ 250,000 - $ 250,000 $ 250,000 - $ 250,000 - $ 250,000 $ 250,000 $ 250,000 - $ 250,000 $ -

CATEGORY International International Premier International Premier Grand Slam 125K Premier International Premier Premier 5 International International Premier Premier International Premier International International 125K International Premier International International Premier Premier 5 International International Grand Slam International International International Premier Premier Grand Slam 125K International International International International International Premier Premier 5 Premier 5 Premier Grand Slam 125K International International International Premier International International Premier 5 International Premier International International International Premier International Finals Finals


Photo: Fred Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

ATP Tour Calendar 2019 Month/Date Dec 31 Dec 31 Dec 31 Jan 06 Jan 07 Jan 14 Feb 04 Feb 04 Feb 04 Feb 11 Feb 11 Feb 11 Feb 18 Feb 18 Feb 18 Feb 25 Feb 25 Feb 25 Mar 07 Mar 20 Apr 08 Apr 08 Apr 14 Apr 22 Apr 22 Apr 29 Apr 29 May 05 May 12 May 19 May 19 May 26 Jun 10 Jun 10 Jun 17 Jun 17 Jun 23 Jun 24 Jul 1 Jul 15 Jul 15 Jul 15 Jul 22 Jul 22 Jul 22 Jul 29 Jul 29 Jul 29 Aug 05 Aug 11 Aug 18 Aug 26 Sep 16 Sep 16 Sep 23 Sep 23 Sep 30 Sep 30 Oct 06 Oct 01 Oct 14 Oct 14 Oct 21 Oct 21 Oct 28 Nov 5 Nov 10

City Doha Brisbane Pune Sydney Auckland Melbourne Montpellier Sofia Cordoba Rotterdam New York Buenos Aires Rio de Janeiro Marseille Delray Beach Dubai Acapulco São Paulo Indian Wells Miami Marrakech Houston Monte-Carlo Barcelona Budapest Estoril Munich Madrid Rome Geneva Lyon Paris Stuttgart ’s-Hertogenbosch’ Halle London Antalya Eastbourne London Båstad Umag Newport Hamburg Atlanta Gstaad Washington D.C. Los Cabos Kitzbühel Montreal Cincinnati Winston-Salem New York St. Petersburg Metz Chengdu Zhuhai Beijing Tokyo Shanghai Moscow Antwerp Stockholm Vienna Basel Paris Milan London

Tournament name Qatar ExxonMobil Brisbane International Tata Open Maharashtra Sydney International ASB Classic Australian Open* Open Sud de France Sofia Open Córdoba Open ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament New York Open Argentina Open Rio Open presented by Claro Open 13 Provence Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC Brasil Open BNP Paribas Open Miami Open presented by Itaú Grand Prix Hassan II Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell Gazprom Hungarian Open Millennium Estoril Open BMW Open by FWU Mutua Madrid Open Internazionali BNL d’Italia Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon Roland Garros* MercedesCup Libema Open Gerry Weber Open Fever-Tree Championships Turkish Airlines Open Antalya Nature Valley International Wimbledon* Swedish Open Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag Hall of Fame Open Hamburg Open BB&T Atlanta Open J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad Citi Open Abierto Mexicano de Tenis Mifel Generali Open Coupe Rogers Western & Southern Open Winston-Salem Open US Open* St. Petersburg Open Moselle Open Chengdu Open Zhuhai Open China Open Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships Rolex Shanghai Masters VTB Kremlin Cup European Open Intrum Stockholm Open Erste Bank Open 500 Swiss Indoors Basel Rolex Paris Masters Next Gen ATP Finals Nitto ATP Finals

Surface Hard Hard Hard Hard Hard Hard Indoor Hard Indoor Hard Clay Indoor Hard Indoor Hard Clay Clay Indoor Hard Hard Hard Hard Indoor Clay Hard Hard Clay Clay Clay Clay Clay Clay Clay Clay Clay Clay Clay Clay Grass Grass Grass Grass Grass Grass Grass Clay Clay GGGG Clay Hard Clay Hard Hard Clay Hard Hard Hard Hard Indoor Hard Indoor Hard Hard Hard Hard Hard Hard Indoor Hard Indoor Hard Indoor Hard Indoor Hard Indoor Hard Indoor Hard Indoor Hard Indoor Hard

Draw 32 28 28 28 28 128 28 28 28 32 28 28 32 28 32 32 32 28 96 96 32 28 56 48 28 28 28 56 56 28 28 128 28 28 32 32 28 28 128 28 28 28 32 28 28 48 28 28 56 56 48 128 28 28 28 28 32 32 56 28 28 28 32 32 48 8 8

Prize money $1,313,215 $527,880 $527,880 $527,880 $527,880 € 524,340 € 524,340 $527,880 € 1,961,160 $694,995 $590,745 $1,786,690 € 668,485 $582,550 $2,736,845 $1,780,060 $550,145 $8,359,455 $8,359,455 € 524,340 $583,585 € 5,207,405 € 2,609,135 € 524,340 € 524,340 € 524,340 € 6,536,160 € 5,207,405 € 524,340 € 524,340 € 679,015 € 635,750 € 2,081,830 € 2,081,830 € 445,690 € 684,080 € 524,340 € 524,340 $583,585 € 1,718,170 $694,995 € 524,340 $1,895,290 $762,455 € 524,340 $5,701,945 $6,056,280 $717,955 $1,180,000 € 524,340 $1,096,575 $931,335 $3,515,225 $1,895,290 $7,473,620 $939,220 € 635,750 € 635,750 € 2,296,490 € 2,082,655 € 5,207,405 $1,400,000 $9,000,000

Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

61


AITA Tour Calendar 2019 Under 16 07, Jan CS 7 (Kolkata) 07, Jan TS 7 (Mysore) 07, Jan CS 7 (Coimbatore) 07, Jan CS 7 (Karnal) 07, Jan CS 7 (Bahadurgarh) 07, Jan CS 7 (Jaipur) 07, Jan TS 7 (Chandigarh) 14, Jan TS 7 (Zirakpur) 14, Jan CS 7(Karnal) 14, Jan CS 7(Bahadurgarh) 14, Jan TS 7(Lucknow) 21, Jan SS (Chennai) 21, Jan CS (Trichirappalli) 21, Jan CS (Pulivendla - Ap) 21, Jan CS 7 (Jaipur) 21, Jan CS 7 (Bangalore) 21, Jan CS 7 (Gurgaon) 21, Jan CS (Surat) 28, Jan CS 7 (Karnal) 28, Jan CS 7 (Chittor) 28, Jan CS 7 (Chennai) 28, Jan CS 7 (Mumbai) 28, Jan TS 7 (Bangalore) 28, Jan CS 7 (Pataudi) 28, Jan TS (Ahmedabad) 04, Feb CS 7 (Jalandhar) 04, Feb SS (Nagpur) 04, Feb CS (Madurai) 04, Feb TS 7 (Rohtak) 04, Feb TS 7 (Faridabad) 04, Feb CS 7 (Pataudi) 04, Feb TS 7 (Gurgaon) 11, Feb CS 7 (Jalandhar) 11, Feb CS 7 (Mumbai) 11, Feb CS 7 (Sonipat) 11, Feb CS 7 (Rohtak) 11, Feb CS 7 (Jaipur) 18, Feb CS 7 (Karnal) 18, Feb CS 7 (Hyderabad) 18, Feb CS 7 (Sonipat) 18, Feb CS 7 (Pataudi) 18, Feb CS 7 (Ahmedabad) 18, Feb NS (Navi Mumbai) 25, Feb CS 7 (Karnal) 25, Feb TS 7(Zirakpur) 25, Feb SS (Chandigarh) 25, Feb CS 7 (Coimbatore) 25, Feb CS 7 (Sonipat) 25, Feb TS 7 (Anantapur) 25, Feb TS 7 (Bangalore) 04, Mar SS (Mumbai) 04, Mar TS 7 (Coimbatore) 11, Mar CS 7 (Jalandhar) 18, Mar CS 7 (Karnal) 18, Mar TS 7 (Faridabad) 18, Mar CS 7 (Jalandhar) 25, Mar SS (Kolkata) 25, Mar CS 7 (Karnal) 25, Mar TS 7 (Chandigarh) 25, Mar CS 7 (Faridabad) 25, Mar TS 7 (Delhi) 01, Apr CS 7 (Karnal) 01, Apr TS (Ahmedabad) 08, Apr CS 7 (Karnal) 08, Apr CS 7 (Chandigarh)

62

08,Apr TS 7 (Faridabad) 15,Apr SS (NANDED) 15, Apr CS 7(Karnal) 22, Apr NS (PANCHGANI) 22, Apr CS 7(Karnal) 29, Apr SS (Mumbai) 29, Apr CS 7 (Karnal) 29, Apr TS 7 (Faridabad) 13, May SS (Chandigarh) 20, May Nationals (Mumbai) 20, May CS 7 (Karnal) 27, May CS 7 (Karnal) 03, Jun CS 7 (Karnal) 10, Jun CS 7 (Karnal) 17, Jun CS 7 (Karnal) 24, Jun CS 7 (Karnal) 19, Aug TS (Ahmedabad) 11, Nov NS (Mumbai)

Under 18 07, Jan ITF Juniors (Chandigarh) 07, Jan CS 7 (Mumbai) 07, Jan CS 7(Karnal) 07, Jan CS 7 (Bahadurgarh) 07, Jan CS (Dehradun) 07, Jan CS 7 (Jaipur) 14, Jan ITF Juniors (Dwlhi) 21, Jan ITF Juniors (Kolkata) 21, Jan CS 7 (Jaipur) 21, Jan CS 7 (Bangalore) 28, Jan ITF Juniors (Indore) 28, Jan CS 7 (Karnal) 28, Jan CS 7 (Pataudi) 04, Feb NS (Kavali) 04, Feb CS 7 (Jalandhar) 04, Feb CS 7 (Pataudi) 04, Feb CS (Ahmedabad) 11, Feb CS 7 (Jalandhar) 11, Feb CS 7 (Sonipat) 11, Feb CS (Bangalore) 11, Feb CS (Coimbatore) 11, Feb CS 7 (Jaipur) 18, Feb CS 7 (Sonipat) 18, Feb CS 7 (Pataudi) 18, Feb CS (Coimbatore) 18, Feb CS (Bangalore) 25, Feb CS 7 (Karnal) 25, Feb SS (Chandigarh) 11, Mar CS 7 (Jalandhar) 18, Mar ITF Juniors (Dehra Dun) 18, Mar CS 7 (Jalandhar) 25, Mar CS 7 (Karnal) 25, Mar ITF Juniors (Raipur) 25, Mar CS 7 (Zirakpur) 01, Apr ITF Juniors (G5) (Madurai) 01, Apr CS 7 (Karnal) 08, Apr CS 7 (Karnal) 08, Apr CS 7 (Chandigarh) 15, Apr CS 7 (Karnal) 22, Apr CS 7 (Karnal) 29, Apr CS 7 (Karnal) 13, May SS (Chandigarh) 27, May CS 7 (Faridabad) 10, Jun CS (Ahmedabad) 21, Oct CS (Ahmedabad)

Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

Women 14, Jan AITA Rs 1 Lac (Kolkata) 14, Jan AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 14, Jan AITA Rs 1 Lac (Bangalore) 21, Jan AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 28, Jan ITF $ 25 K (Jodhpur) 28, Jan AITA Rs 50 K (Gurgaon) 28, Jan AITA Rs 1 Lac (Bangalore) 28, Jan AITA Rs 50 K (Lucknow) 04, Feb AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 04, Feb AITA Rs 50 K (Jaipur) 11, Feb AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 18, Feb AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 25, Feb AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 04, Mar AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 11, Mar AITA Rs 2.5 Lacs (Kakinada) 11, Mar AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 18, Mar AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 25, Mar AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 01, Apr AITA Rs 50 K (Faridabad) 29, Apr AITA Rs 1 Lac (Bangalore) 06, May AITA Rs 1 Lac (Karnal) 13,May AITA Rs 1 Lac (Karnal) 20, May AITA Rs 50 K (Faridabad) 17, Jun AITA Rs 1 Lac (Chandigarh) 16, Dec AITA Rs 3 Lac (Panchgani)

Men 07, Jan AITA Rs 1 Lac (Vijayawada) 07, Jan AITA Rs 2 Lac (Nagpur) 14, Jan AITA Rs 1 Lac (Kolkata) 14, Jan AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 14, Jan AITA Rs 1 Lac (Bangalore) 21, Jan AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 21, Jan AITA Rs 50 K (Bahadurgarh) 28, Jan Davis Cup (Kolkata) 28, Jan AITA Rs 50 K (Gurgaon) 28, Jan AITA Rs 1 Lac (Bangalore) 28, Jan AITA Rs 50 K (Lucknow) 04, Feb ATP Challenger (Chennai) 04, Feb AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 04, Feb AITA Rs 50 K (Jaipur) 11, Feb Inter State (Bhilai) 11, Feb AITA Rs 50 K( Karnal) 11, Feb AITA Rs 1 Lac (Mysuru) 18, Feb AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 18, Feb AITA Rs 5 Lacs (Chennai) 25, Feb AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 25, Feb AITA Rs 2 Lac (Coimbatore) 04, Mar AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 11, Mar AITA Rs 2.5 Lacs (Kakinada) 11, Mar AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 11, Mar AITA Rs 50 K (Ahmedabad) 11, Mar AITA Rs 50 K (Chennai) 18, Mar AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 18, Mar AITA Rs 50 K (Chennai) 25, Mar AITA Rs 50 K (Karnal) 01, Apr AITA Rs 50 K (Faridabad) 29, Apr AITA Rs 1 Lac (Bangalore) 06, May AITA Rs 1 Lac (Karnal) 13,May AITA Rs 1 Lac (Karnal) 20, May AITA Rs 50 K (Faridabad) 17, Jun AITA Rs 1 Lac (Chandigarh) 22, Jul AITA Rs 50 K (Solapur) 23, Sep AITA Rs 50 K (Solapur) 16, Dec AITA Rs 3 Lac (Panchgani)


AITA RANKINGS As on 31 December 2018 Rank Name Men’s Singles

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 16 18 19 20 20 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 34 36 37 37 37 40 41 42 43 44 45 45 47 48 49 49 51 51 53

Prajnesh Gunneswaran Ramkumar Ramanathan Yuki Bhambri Saketh Myneni Mukund Sasikumar Arjun Kadhe Sumit Nagal Manish Sureshkumar Nikki K Poonacha Siddharth Vishwakarma Sidharth Rawat Suraj R Prabodh Sriram Balaji Narayanaswamy Mohit Mayur Jayaprakash Kunal Anand Vijay Sundar Prashanth Karunuday Singh Ranjeet Virali Murugesan Prajwal S Dev Aryan Goveas Nitin Kumar Sinha Jayesh Pungliya Abhinav S Sanjeev Ishaque Eqbal Anurag Nenwani Dhruv Sunish Faisal Qamar Anirudh Chandrasekar Yugal Bansal Ajay Malik Armaan Bhatia Vignesh Peranamallur Kaza Vinayak Sharma Prithvi Sekhar Paramveer Singh Bajwa Fahad Mohammed Dalwinder Singh Paras Dahiya Abhishek Gaur Adil Kalyanpur Jagmeet Singh Jatin Dahiya Neeraj Yashpaul Ansu Kumar Bhuyan Gokul Suresh Chinmay Pradhan Siddarth Ponnala Shivam Dalmia Yuvraj Singh Yash Yadav Nikit M Reddy Amit Beniwal Bharath Nishok Kumaran

ATP Total Points Points 2690 2160 2100 980 645 505 375 320 210 25 175 95 155 40 70 145 145 65 45 130 95 25 105 5 15 30 0 50 0 0 0 5 65 5 5 0 30 5 0 60 0 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2690 2160 2100 980 645 565 375 365 224 208 205 173 155 148 147 145 145 144 134 130 130 120 119 114 98 90 88 82 81 79 78 77.5 76 72 72 67 66 66 66 64 62 58 56 55 52 52 51 50 49 49 48 48 47

Rank Name Women’s Singles

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 20 22 23 23 23 26 27 28 29 29 31 32 33 33 33 36 37 37 37 40 41 42 42 44 44 44 44 48 48 50 51 52 52

Ankita Raina Karman Kaur Thandi Pranjala Yadlapalli Rutuja S. Bhosale Mahak Jain Riya Bhatia Samhitha Sai Chamarthi Shaikh Humera Zeel Desai Yubrani Banerjee Sowjanya Bavisetti Prathiba Prasad Narayan Shweta C. Rana Nithya Raj Babu Rishika Sunkara Natasha Palha Mihika Yadav Sravya Shivani Chilakalapudi Deeksha Prasad Manju Reetika Grewal Sara Yadav Vanshita Pathania Jennifer Luikham Dedeepya Y Sai Nidhi Chilumula Soha Sadiq Pareen Shivekar Prathyusha Rachapudi Seerat Pannu Kaur Kaavya Sawhney Vanshika Choudhary Aarthi Muniyan Anusha Kondaveeti Vaibhavi Trivedi Adrija Biswas Snehal Mane Avika Sagwal Aayushi Tanwar Anupreet Bedi Neeru Rapria Bhuvana Kalva Kashish Bhatia Harshita Chugh Dakshata Girishkumar Patel Preethi B. Ujjini Shruti Gupta Anaam Almas Saumya Vig Smriti Bhasin Farhat Aleen Qamar Sharannya Vijay Gaware Avanthika R Sai Apoorva S B

WTA Total Points Points 1450 1435 835 570 205 165 35 0 45 0 50 0 0 0 0 0 25 0 0 0 0 0 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019

1450 1435 835 570 256 170 82.5 66.5 65 58 57 56 53 50 48.5 43 39.5 38.5 37 36 36 35 34 34 34 33.5 32.5 31.5 30.5 30.5 29.5 28 27 27 27 26.5 26 26 26 24 23.5 23 23 22 22 22 22 21.5 21.5 21 20.5 20 20 63


Caught on the Camera All photo: Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA, Inc

Djokovic family

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge and HRH The Duchess of Sussex

Serena Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian

Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, HRH The Duke of Cambridge and British Prime Minister Theresa May

Mike Tyson and his wife Lakiha Spicer

64

Advantage Tennis Grand Slam Yearbook 2019



RNI Regn. No. DELENG 10225

Vol. 22, 2019

The Djoker is Back

Novak Djokovic Greatness Unlimited

Roger Federer Sports Kinesiology The Rafa Nadal Academy Exclusive interviews

Rohan Bopanna Divij Sharan


Articles inside

ATP Tour Calendar 2019

3min
page 63

WTA Tour Calendar 2019

4min
page 62

AITA Rankings

2min
page 65

2018 WTA Tour Final Results

4min
page 60

2018 ATP Tour Final Results

4min
page 61

ATP Rankings

2min
page 59

WTA Rankings

2min
page 58

ROHAN BOPANNA: Flying the Flag An Interview

7min
pages 47-50

A Switch to Gold for BOPANNA-SHARAN

10min
pages 51-53

NAOMI OSAKA takes Centre Stage

8min
pages 43-46

DIVIJ SHARAN: An Interview

9min
pages 54-57

Who is the Greatest Asian Tennis Player?

9min
pages 38-42

Poster: Naomi Osaka

2min
pages 34-37

HYEON CHUNG: The Rising Star from Korea

6min
pages 32-33

Tennis Moms

8min
pages 20-24

The Greatest Rivalries in Tennis

11min
pages 13-18

AT Tennis Trivia

1min
page 19

Editorial

3min
page 5

Sports Kinesiology The Rafa Nadal Academy

2min
pages 30-31

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The Djoker is Back

10min
pages 25-29

ROGER FEDERER: Greatness Unlimited

10min
pages 8-12
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