Will India ever produce a singles Grand Slam champion?
When we think of the big names inthe current scenario of Indian tennis - Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna - we see a total of 25 Grand Slam titles, all of those being doubles titles.
That is a very impressive number, but you cannot help wondering as to why none of them have done well in singles. In fact, since the time of Ramanathan Krishnan, and probably Vijay Amritraj as well, no Indian has done well in singles. Why is that the case?
Come to think of it, Paes started off as a singles specialist where he tasted a lot of success, winning the junior Wimbledon and US Open titles, and performing exceptionally well in the Davis Cup too. To top it all, he won the singles bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics. But he switched to doubles, partnering with Mahesh Bhupathi, and the duo went on to become the World No. 1 doubles team for a long time.
Paes says the reason why he decided to switch to doubles was because he knew there were medals there, and he was right - he has so far racked up 13 Grand Slams.
Even Sania Mirza did have considerable success in her singles career, beating the likes of Maron Bartoli, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva and reaching a top ranking of 27 at one point of time. But injuries took a toll on her due to which she decided to switch to doubles, where she is enjoying a lot of success, recently winning the US Open mixed doubles championship.
Devvarman and Bhambri have not delivered