The future of Indian doubles tennis looks bright.
Writer : M Sudharshan
For the past few months, the Indian doubles players have had a phenomenal outing in the ATP and the ATP Challenger events. There are presently 2 players in the top 100 and 5 players ranking stacked between 130 to 170s in the ATP rankings.
For the last 2 years, many Indian players couldn’t take part in the Challenger events due to the Pandemic which didn’t help their cause. Starting this year from the ATP Adelaide Open to the ATP Maharashtra Open and the two Bengaluru Challengers players have had a good time competing against the best players in the circuit.
Doubles Titles in Last three Years on ATP Tour Circuit
Rohan Bopanna – ATP23 [CH3]
The Evergreen Bopanna who is ageing like a wine currently sits at WR23 at the age of 42. The Lanky 192cm Banglorean recently surprised one and all by reaching the SemiFinals of the Roland Garros. He has already played 17 tournaments this year winning ATP250 Adelaide and ATP250 Maharashtra open with Ramkumar Ramanathan. Rohan had started the year with a ATP ranking of 43 so he has already climbed up eighteen places. In the whole season of 2021 Rohan failed to win a single title so this year has been relatively better for him.
Ramkumar Ramanathan – ATP71 [CH71]
What a start for Ramkumar in the year he won the first three ATP tournaments he took part, and reached the Finals in fourth. He started the year outside the top 100 of ATP rankings. His first tournament of the year partnering with Bopanna was a successful one winning the ATP Adelaide Open beating the top seeds. The same pair again partnered together for the second time at ATP Maharashtra Open to clinch their second Consecutive title playing together. This was a start to a great year for Ram.
He currently sits at ATP71 which is his career high.
After successful ATP events, he partnered with Myneni at two Bengaluru Challengers winning one and reaching the finals of the other challenger. In the recently concluded French Open, he reached the 2 nd round. He has reached the QFs of two Grass events at the Surbiton and Nottingham Challengers and is to play the finals of Ilkley Challenger today. He has played fourteen Doubles tournements this year, reaching Finals Six times.
N. Sriram Balaji – ATP125 [CH96]
Balaji has been an old warhorse for the Indian tennis. He has a career-best ranking of 96 in doubles in 2018. Started the year with a good home season he reached the SF of the Maharashtra Open and the Bengaluru Challenger. After a good start, he had a slight dip in form losing 4 first round matches on the trot in the Challenger events.
Since June he is now looking completely different partnering with Jeevan in a majority of tournaments.
He has reached beyond the SF four times starting with ATP Tunis Challenger, Challenger Prostejov, winning the Slovak Open and Blois Challenger. Starting the year with the rank of 170 he is on the verge of again getting back to the top 100 this year with the present ranking close to 120s.
Saketh Myneni – ATP145 [CH113]
Partnering with Ramkumar in the initial stages was successful for Myneni winning the Bengaluru Challenger I and reaching the finals of Bengaluru Challenger II. He then moved on to play the ITF tour where he had a good success partnering with Yuki Bhambri.
Moving forward he had a good set of Challenger winning the Salinas & Prostejov beating seeds 1,2, and 3 on the way to winning the trophy. He has a career-best ranking of 137 with the present being close to 150s. With a few good tournaments going ahead, he can breach past his career-best ranking and get closer to 100 by end of this year.
Arjun Khade – ATP146 [CH146]
Arjun started his year with a Challenger win in Forli Italy. Like others, he did not have a great start to the home season losing the opening games in both the Maharashtra and Bengaluru I Challenger. But in the Bengaluru II Challenger, he came out all gunsblazing beating the pair of Ramkumar/Myneni in the finals who did not lose a single game until then.
He then had a good outing in the Challenger tour reaching the QFs twice and an SF with Sriram at Prostejov Challenger. This made him reach a career-best ranking of 146
Challenger Titles Won by Indians in last three years.