Wimbledon 2014: Players Participating From South Asia
It’s that time of the year for strawberries and cream and comedy chants of “Come on Tim!” – when the nation becomes tennis fans for two weeks.
Wimbledon has begun this week with Andy Murray defending his crown. But there are no British Asian players in this year’s draws with Arvind Parmar now coaching and former player Natasha Khan studying to become an oesteopath.
So Entouraaj looks at the main players from South Asia who will be gracing the grass at SW19.
Leander Paes, who turned 41 last week, is playing in his 20th Wimbledon championships this year. The India-born player and Pakistan’s Aisam ul-Haq Qureshi reached the final of the AEGON International warm-up event.
The 1999 doubles champion will be hoping to better his quarter-final finish last year when he partnered Czech Radek Stepanek. Paes and Radek Stepanek are seeded fifth in the men’s doubles. They face Poland’s Mariusz Fyrstenberg and American-born Rajeev Ram, 30.
Rohan Bopanna is playing in his sixth Wimbledon and his career best is semi-finals in the doubles event last year.
The 34-year-old from Bangalore formed a strong partnership with Aisam ul-Haq Qureshi this year where they reached the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters. The team, known as the Indo Pak Express, were knocked out in the third round of last week’s AEGON International.
At Wimbledon, they face Frantisek Cermak from the Czech Republic and Russia’s Mikhail Elgin in round one.
Aisam ul-Haq Qureshi
Aisam ul-Haq Qureshi is playing in his tenth year at Wimbledon but has yet to go beyond the quarter-finals.
The 34-year-old, who was born in Lahore, is the son of former Pakistan tennis player Nosheen Ihtsham. He has won a stack of awards including the President’s Award for Performance by the Government of Pakistan and the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Of The Year Award for 2002 and 2010.
Qureshi and doubles partner Bopanna are seeded eighth for Wimbledon and will be looking for better results after their first round elimination at the French Open.
Sania Mirza and her partner Cara Black have been seeded fourth in the women’s doubles event of the Wimbledon championships.
The 27-year-old and Black have a tough first round test at Wimbledon against former world number one Martina Hingis and Vera Zvonareva from Russia. Mirza, who won the French Open mixed doubles in 2012 with Mahesh Bhupathi, holds the record for being the highest ranked Indian player between 2003–2013 until her retirement from singles.
She has won 20 doubles career titles including the Oesteril event in Portugal in April.
Somdev Devvarman is flying the flag for India in the men’s singles.
The 29-year-old, who is ranked 126 in the world, will face Jerzy Janowicz of Poland in round one. Devvarman , who won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, is in a bad run of form with four straight first round defeats.
He has won just two matches on the ATP circuit in his last 10 tournaments.
Divij Sharan is partnering Yen-Hsun Lu of Taipei in this year’s men’s doubles.
The duo will be playing Britain’s Jamie Delgado and Gilles Muller from Luxembourg in the opening round at The All England Lawn Tennis Club. Sharan, 28, is still looking for his first singles title but is an ATP World Tour and Grand Slam winner in the doubles.
He made his debut for India in the Davis Cup in 2012.