Ramanathan Krishnan — In the early 19th century, when lawn tennis was introduced to the Indian masses, the game was dominated by the British, the inventors of the game. Most of the national titles were won by foreign players, largely due to the fact that Indian talent was undiscovered. During the time, the English tennis players dominated the game. Soon after, Indian players started featuring in the game, extensively. They made India’s presence felt at the national level. One among the trendsetters, who popularized lawn tennis among the Indians, is Ramanathan Krishnan. He was one among the world’s leading tennis players in the 1950s and 1960s.
Krishnan learned the skills and nuances of tennis from his father – T.K. Ramanathan. After acquiring the skills, Krishnan soon went on to make it big at the national level. He swept all the junior titles at the national circuit, thus emerging as a promising player. In 1954, Ramanathan Krishnan received international accolade, when he became the first Asian player to win the boy’s singles title at Wimbledon by defeating Ashley Cooper in the final. In 1960, he made it to the semi-finals of the men’s singles competition at Wimbledon. However, he was defeated by Neale Fraser at the event. Nonetheless, Ramanathan reached the Wimbledon semi-finals once again, in the following year.
In 1960, Ramanathan Krishnan was ranked World No.3 tennis player, for the delivery of outstanding performances in a consistent manner. He regularly featured on the Indian Davis Cup team between 1953 and 1975. Due to his remarkable performance at the national level, he was included in the Indian team, to play at the 1966 Davis Cup. The team reached the finals. Ramanathan Krishnan received nationwide accolade for winning the Indian national tennis titles for eight years at a row. Today, even though he has taken retirement from the game, he is remembered for his scintillating performances and the contribution in making tennis in India stand equivalent to other countries at the international stage.
- Won the national senior title eight years on the row.
- First Asian to win the Wimbledon junior Singles title.
- World No.3 tennis player in 1960. Indian Tennis Player
- Reached the semifinals of Wimbledon in 1960 and 1961.