"winning the Wimbledon final was the most memorable match"
Wimbledon is regarded as the most prestigious tennis tournament and over the years, there has been a number of Indian tennis players that have captivated fans with their performance.
But which Indian tennis players have triumphed at the event?
Currently, there are only Indian three players who have won Wimbledon, all in the doubles events.
With their remarkable skill, determination, and unwavering spirit, these Indian athletes have conquered the revered Wimbledon Championships, solidifying their place in the annals of tennis greatness.
We delve into these tennis players and each time they won Wimbledon, leaving an indelible mark on the sport in their homeland.
Leander Paes is widely regarded as one of the greatest doubles players in tennis.
In a career spanning over two decades, Paes has achieved numerous milestones and accolades.
In Grand Slam tournaments, Paes has won 18 titles, winning eight men’s doubles titles and 10 in the mixed doubles.
When it comes to Wimbledon, Leander Paes has won the prestigious tournament five times.
1999 with Mahesh Bhupathi
For Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, 1999 was a breakthrough year as they reached the men’s doubles final in all four Grand Slams.
They became the first Indian pairing to win a major, triumphing at the French Open. They went on to win Wimbledon.
Going into the tournament, they were the top seeds.
On their way to the final, they survived two tough five-setters.
In the final, they defeated Jared Palmer (USA) and Paul Haarhuis (NED) 6-7, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6, ending with a big serve by Bhupathi and a finish by Paes at the net.
Speaking about the final, Bhupathi said:
“Professionally, winning the Wimbledon final was the most memorable match in my life as far as doubles is concerned.”
1999 with Lisa Raymond
Wimbledon 1999 saw Leander Paes clinch the mixed doubles title with USA’s Lisa Raymond.
Seeded first, the pair defeated third seeds Jonas Bjorkman (SWE) and Anna Kournikova (RUS) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the final.
2003 with Martina Navratilova
For the mixed doubles in 2003, the Indian tennis star partnered with the legendary Martina Navratilova.
In the final, they enjoyed a straight-sets victory over Andy Ram (ISR) and Anastassia Rodionova (RUS), winning 6-3, 6-3.
The Wimbledon victory saw Navratilova break her own record as the oldest Grand Slam champion at the age of 46 years and 261 days.
It was also Navratilova’s 20th Wimbledon title, which brought her level with Billie Jean King.
Speaking about partnering with Navratilova, Leander Paes said:
“Watching Martina play inspired me as a kid growing up in India and now playing with her here on Centre Court is a dream come true.
“Thank you Martina for being my vehicle to greatness.”
2010 with Cara Black
Leander Paes partnered with Zimbabwe’s Cara Black and in 2009, they lost to Bahamian Mark Knowles and Anna-Lena Grönefeld (GER).
They avenged their disappointment by triumphing in 2010, defeating Wesley Moodie (RSA) and Lisa Raymond (USA) in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6.
The experienced doubles pair won the first set in 37 minutes. But they were taken to a tie-break in the second, eventually coming out on top.
2015 with Martina Hingis
2015 was a good year for Martina Hingis because just a day after winning the women’s doubles with Sania Mirza, she won the mixed doubles title with Leander Paes.
Hingis came out of retirement for the second time in 2013.
In the final, she and Paes thrashed Alexander Peya (AUT) and Timea Babos (HUN) 6-1, 6-1 in the final, taking just 40 minutes.
Mahesh Bhupathi’s tennis career was marked by his exceptional skills as a doubles player and his strategic prowess on the court.
He specialised in the men’s doubles and mixed doubles events and achieved great success at both the professional and Grand Slam levels.
His partnership with Leander Paes became one of the most successful and iconic pairings in doubles tennis. Together, they formed a formidable team known as the ‘Indian Express’.
In Grand Slam tournaments, Bhupathi has won a total of 12 titles.
He is a three-time Wimbledon winner, which includes the historic victory with Paes in 1999.
2002 with Elena Likhovtseva
In 2002, Bhupathi was partnered with Russia’s Elena Likhovtseva.
They came through a tough semi-final against second seeds Donald Johnson (USA) and Kimberly Po-Messerli (USA) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
In the final, the third seeds played Zimbabwe’s Kevin Ullyett and Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova.
Bhupathi and Likhovtseva came out on top, winning 6-2, 1-6, 6-1.
2005 with Mary Pierce
Mahesh Bhupathi won his second Wimbledon mixed doubles title in 2005, this time partnering with France’s Mary Pierce.
They defeated Paul Hanley (AUS) and Tatiana Perebiynis (UKR) 6-4, 6-2.
Going into the tournament, Bhupathi and Pierce were a last-minute partnership after the Indian tennis star was without a partner in mixed doubles.
They were unseeded but were untroubled as they won the title without dropping a set.
While Sania Mirza has competed in both singles and doubles events, she gained immense popularity and success in doubles.
She has won a total of six Grand Slam titles.
Mirza won Wimbledon once and in 2015, she became the first female Indian tennis player to reach world number one.
Her partnership with Martina Hingis was particularly fruitful as they formed a team known as ‘Santina’ and captured numerous titles together.
2015 with Martina Hingis
Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis won their first Grand Slam title together at Wimbledon 2015. It was also Mirza’s first major in women’s doubles.
Seeded number one, the pair beat Russian duo Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova 5-7, 7-6, 7-5 in the final.
Mirza said: “It means everything to be here today.
“To come out at Wimbledon Centre Court and have the whole crowd behind you is pretty incredible.”
‘Santina’ went on to win the 2015 US Open and 2016 Australian Open.
Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza are the only Indian tennis players to have won Wimbledon.
In the case of Paes and Bhupathi, they won the tournament on multiple occasions.
But while their achievements are to be proud of, no Indian tennis player has triumphed in singles competition, which often attracts larger audiences.
India’s top-ranked male player is Sumit Nagal while Ankita Raina is India’s number one female.
Given that tennis is not a mass sport in India, the availability of talent will remain an issue. This means it will be a while before we see an Indian Wimbledon singles champion.