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Nirupama Sanjeev (née: Vaidyanathan; born 8 December 1976) is a retired Indian professional tennis player, and the former Indian No. 1. In the 1998 Australian Open, she became the first Indian woman in the modern era to feature and win a round at a main draw Grand Slam, beating Italy's Gloria Pizzichini. She has also won the Bronze Medal at the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games in Mixed Doubles, partnering Mahesh Bhupathi. Sanjeev was the first Indian female to enter the top 200 world singles rankings.

Nirupama Sanjeev
XIX Commonwealth Games-2010 Delhi Nirupama Sanjeev and Rohan Bopanna of India, during a mixed-double match against Rodionova & Hanley of Australia, at R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium, in New Delhi on October 04, 2010.jpg
Country (sports) India
ResidenceBay Area, San Francisco, United States
Born (1976-12-08) 8 December 1976 (age 42)
Coimbatore, India
Height1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Turned pro1992
Retired2010
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize moneyUS$182,057
Official websitewww.nirustennis.com
Singles
Career recordW–L / 180–155
Career titles0 WTA, 2 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 147 (12 May 1997)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open2R (1998)
French OpenQ2 (2001)
WimbledonQ3 (2001)
US OpenQ3 (1999)
Doubles
Career record106–94
Career titles0 WTA, 10 ITF
Highest rankingNo. 115 (23 July 2001)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open1R (1998, 2001)
French Open1R (2001)
Wimbledon2R (2001)
US OpenQ1 (1997, 2001)
Other doubles tournaments
Olympic Games1R (2000)
Nirupama Sanjeev
Medal record
Representing  India
Tennis
Asian Games
Bronze medal – third place 1998 Bangkok Mixed Doubles

Early life and tennis careerEdit

Nirupama was born in the Southern Indian town of Coimbatore. She started playing tennis at the age of 5 and was influenced very much by her brother. Her father K.S. Vaidyanathan was a cricketer who had played for Tamil Nadu in Ranji Cricket tournament coached her at the start of her career. Her first tennis tournament foray was the National Under 12 tournament, where she reached the semi-final and went on to win her 1st National title in Under 14 age group at the age of 13. One year later in 1991, she won the National Women's title at age 14. She won the National Women's title in 1992–1996.

In 1996, she moved to Luxembourg and she turned professional at the age of 18. Nirupama shifted her base to Sarasota, Florida in 1997 where she trained with David O Meara who was the former coach of Leander Paes for two years. In 1998 Australian Open, she became the first Indian woman in the modern era to feature and win a round at a main draw Grand Slam, beating Italy's Gloria Pizzichini. She has also won the Bronze Medal at the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games in Mixed Doubles, partnering Mahesh Bhupathi.

She retired during the later 2000s. She made a comeback in 2010 when she represented India to play in the Commonwealth Games 2010 and in Asian games in Guangzhou as a 33-year-old.

Post RetirementEdit

For the past five years, Nirupama has been on the expert commentary team along with Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj for ESPN-STAR sports. Nirupama also runs a tennis coaching camp in the Bay Area, California. She is launched her autobiography "The Moonballer" in October 2013.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Personal lifeEdit

On 23 May 2002, she married Sanjeev Balakrishnan, a software engineer from Bay Area, California; the brother of the Indian sprinter Rajeev Balakrishnan.

Career statisticsEdit

Singles finals: 4 (2–2)Edit

$100,000 tournaments
$75,000 tournaments
$50,000 tournaments
$25,000 tournaments
$10,000 tournaments
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score
Runner-up 1. 15 July 1996 Bilbao, Spain Clay   Laura Pena 6–1, 4–6, 5–7
Runner-up 2. 2 September 1996 Spoleto, Italy Clay   Catherine Mothes-Jobkel 5–7, 2–6
Winner 1. 17 November 1996 Bad Gögging, Germany Carpet (i)   Raluca Sandu 6–4, 6–1
Winner 2. 17 April 2000 New Delhi, India Carpet   Sai Jayalakshmy Jayaram 6–3, 6–2

Doubles (10–6)Edit

Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1. 21 August 1995 Wezel, Belgium Clay   Olga Hostáková   Ivana Havrlíková
  Monika Kratochvílová
2–6, 3–6
Winner 1. 15 April 1996 Gelos, France Clay   Cara Black   Amélie Mauresmo
  Isabelle Taesch
7–6(4), 6–3
Winner 2. 28 October 1996 Poitiers, France Hard (i)   Olga Barabanschikova   Anique Snijders
  Noëlle van Lottum
6–2, 6–3
Winner 3. 17 November 1996 Bad Gögging, Germany Carpet (i)   Barbara Schwartz   Kirstin Freye
  Silke Meier
6–4, 6–1
Winner 4. 30 June 1997 Vaihingen, Germany Clay   Seda Noorlander   María Fernanda Landa
  Marlene Weingärtner
6–3, 6–1
Runner-up 2. 3 August 1998 Lexington, United States Hard   Jing-Qian Yi   Amanda Grahame
  Bryanne Stewart
4–6, 6–1, 3–6
Runner-up 3. 4 October 1999 Albuquerque, United States Hard   Marion Maruska   Debbie Graham
  Nana Smith
4–6, 5–7
Runner-up 4. 13 December 1998 New Delhi, India Hard   Tathiana Garbin   Rika Hiraki
  Lorna Woodroffe
2–5 ret.
Winner 5. 17 April 2000 New Delhi, India Carpet   Sai Jayalakshmy Jayaram   Rushmi Chakravarthi
  Radhika Tulpule
6–4, 6–2
Winner 6. 17 July 2000 Mahwah, United States Hard   Evie Dominikovic   Lisa McShea
  Irina Selyutina
6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 5. 2 October 2000 Albuquerque, United States Hard   Lisa McShea   Brie Rippner
  Elena Tatarkova
4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 6. 23 October 2000 Dallas, United States Hard   Nana Smith   Brie Rippner
  Elena Tatarkova
3–6, 6–3, 3–6
Winner 7. 30 October 2000 Hayward, United States Hard   Nana Smith   Kelly Liggan
  Milagros Sequera
4–2 4–2
Winner 8. 6 November 2000 Pittsburgh, United States Hard (i)   Nana Smith   Seda Noorlander
  Kirstin Freye
5–7, 6–4, 6–0
Winner 9. 22 April 2001 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Hard   Manisha Malhotra   Leanne Baker
  Shelley Stephens
6–3, 7–5
Winner 10. 29 April 2001 Sarasota, United States Clay   Melissa Middleton   Janet Lee
  Samantha Reeves
6–4, 6–2

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jahagirdar, Archana (16 March 1998). "Nirupama Vaidyanathan – Interview". Outlook. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  2. ^ "Nirupama Vaidyanathan". www.sports-reference.com. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  3. ^ "Serena ends Sania Mirza's dream". BBC. 21 January 2005. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  4. ^ "Paes, Nirupama win first round matches". The Hindu. 14 January 2000. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
  5. ^ Keerthivasan, K (9 May 2002). "Basking in the aura of success". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
  6. ^ "Indian eves falter". The Hindu. 13 April 2001. Retrieved 21 January 2010.