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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.
|Residence||Bay Area, San Francisco, United States|
|Born||8 December 1976|
|Height||1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Career record||W–L / 180–155|
|Career titles||0 WTA, 2 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 147 (12 May 1997)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||2R (1998)|
|French Open||Q2 (2001)|
|US Open||Q3 (1999)|
|Career titles||0 WTA, 10 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 115 (23 July 2001)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||1R (1998, 2001)|
|French Open||1R (2001)|
|US Open||Q1 (1997, 2001)|
|Other doubles tournaments|
|Olympic Games||1R (2000)|
|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.
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.
On 23 May 2002, she married Sanjeev Balakrishnan, a software engineer from Bay Area, California; the brother of the Indian sprinter Rajeev Balakrishnan.
Singles finals: 4 (2–2)Edit
|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|
- Jahagirdar, Archana (16 March 1998). "Nirupama Vaidyanathan – Interview". Outlook. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
- "Nirupama Vaidyanathan". www.sports-reference.com. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
- "Serena ends Sania Mirza's dream". BBC. 21 January 2005. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
- "Paes, Nirupama win first round matches". The Hindu. 14 January 2000. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Keerthivasan, K (9 May 2002). "Basking in the aura of success". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- "Indian eves falter". The Hindu. 13 April 2001. Retrieved 21 January 2010.