Monday, 24 February 2020

Historical Hat-Trick Triumph At Wimbledon 2015

Updated: July 25, 2015 6:15 am

If you think India only tunes into cricket, you are mistaken. The country has happily awoken to sporting history, as our tennis players glorified India at Wimbledon 2015

It was a big weekend for India at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, with the country’s tennis stars (both established and upcoming) winning three Wimbledon doubles titles at the sport’s iconic grass court tournament.

The hard-working and usually effervescent Sania Mirza became the first Indian to clinch a women’s doubles Grand Slam at the hallowed greens of Wimbledon with the Swiss Martina Hingis. India’s world No. 1 Sania Mirza and Hingis earned a hard-earned victory against Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova. Both overcame a 5-2 deficit in the third set against the Russian pair to win 5-7, 7-6, 7-5.

The euphoria had hardly subsided when two more victories came India’s way at Wimbledon. Hingis accompanied Paes and the pair walked away with a fluent 6-1, 6-1 win over Austrian-Hungarian pair of Alexander Peya and Timea Babos ageless Leander Paes added another to his brimming cabinet of 16 Grand Slam titles.

Delhi’s Sumit Nagal with Nam Hoang Ly of Vietnam won the boys’ doubles to complete India’s best show at Wimbledon. Nagal grabbed the title when the 17-year-old partnered Vietnam’s Nam Hoang Ly to win the boys doubles trophy. The eight seeds beat fourth seeds Reilly Opelka and Akira Santillan 7 -6(4) 6-4 in the title clash. Doubts whether Indians could stand up to the rigours of top quality doubles have been put to rest by Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi sometime ago. The legacy is being carried forward with equal zest and flattering results by Sania and, to an extent, by Rohan Bopanna. Now with Nagal cropping up in the radar, it seems the tri-colour is in good hands.

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Meanwhile Swiss maestro Roger Federer fell just short of becoming the oldest-ever Wimbledon singles champion a month before his 34th birthday in his four-set loss to Serbia’s Novak Djokovic. Defending Djokovic outclassed seven-ime Winner Roger Federer to clinch men’s title.

On the other hand as it is Serena Williams defeated promising Spaniard Garbine Muguruza 6-4 6-4 to complete the “Serena Slam” winning four straight majors for the second time and is now well on the way to making more history at the season’s final grand slam at US open.

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Here it is worth mentioning that It is a hat-trick that puts a smile on Indian faces everywhere and warms the hearts of tennis fans in the country. It is extra special coming on that most iconic of turfs, the grass of Wimbledon. The titles should prove inspirational for the younger set of tennis players in the country, spurring them on to bigger and better things on the state or national circuit. Yet, tennis officials must now spread the dragnet further, in order to unearth more tennis talent. While Paes and Mirza are still flying the tricolour, for how long are these warhorses going to shoulder the burden for the country? There has to be consistent, concerted effort to start a conveyor belt of tennis talent, unearthed from the smaller parts of India where there is sure to be a talent trove. Since tennis is an expensive sport, it is usually the urban kids that are roped into programmes and have access to clubs with courts. Yet, if the tennis authorities widen their search, they can find talent in smaller towns and villages, potential that may wither away because of the expense and lack of opportunity. While there are sporadic programmes to nurture junior players, the officials must now put their foot on the pedal, and, riding on these victories with aggressive blood, they should chalk out strategies to unearth the young talent. Let us capitalize on the momentum and actually have roadmaps to create champions for the future. Dedicated searching, a wide net, and an unerring eye to spot that fire and skill to go with it, plus, of course, government support for the junior level is the way forward. Game, set and match India.

By Sanjay K Bissoyi

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