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PHOTOS: When Indian tennis aces matched the best

Last updated on: March 28, 2013 11:08 IST

PHOTOS: When Indian tennis aces matched the best

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Check out these Indian players who put up a fight against top-ranked opponents, and, in some cases, even beat them.

Somdev Devvarman putting up a fight against world No 1 Novak Djokovic in the third round of the Miami Masters is arguably the best showing by an Indian player in singles in a long time.

There was a time when the likes of Vijay Amritraj (16 titles) and Ramesh Krishnan (eight titles) achieved decent success on the ATP Tour and were ranked in the top 20.

Then followed a lull; the performances of Indian players in singles became sporadic and were not worthy of mention.

However, there was a silver lining amid this glut. A few Indian players in the recent years did put up a fight, and, in some cases, even beat, top-ranked opponents.

Click NEXT as we look at a few instances...

Image: Somdev Dewarman congratulates Novak Djokovic after their match at the Sony Open in Key Biscayne, Florida
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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Sania Mirza beat Svetlana Kuznetsova (2005)

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Love her or hate her, but you cannot ignore her!

That is the impact Sania Mirza has had on Indian tennis.

Having started out as a promising player, the Hyderabadi fell well short of the expectations she had raised.

However, she does have a few significant singles wins to her credit, most notably her 6-4, 6-2 upset of the then US Open champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova, at the 2005 Dubai Open.

Sania also went on to beat Nadia Petrova, another Russian ranked in the top 10, that year.

Image: Sania Mirza reacts after beating Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova during the second round of the Dubai Women's Open on March 1, 2005
Photographs: Anwar Mirza/Reuters
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Leander Paes beat Pete Sampras (1998)

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Yes. Unbelievable, but true! It did happen.

The year 1998. Leander Paes was on a roll, having won his first (and only) ATP title in Newport a few weeks before.

It was this rich form and confidence that helped Paes best Pete Sampras, then ranked No 2 in straight sets (6-3, 6-4). They did not meet again, meaning Paes has a winning record against Sampras.

It was, without doubt, the best singles win of his career.

Paes had beaten players like Goran Ivanisevic, Henri Leconte and Wayne Ferreira as well, but those victories came in the Davis Cup (an ITF event).

On the ATP Tour, Paes's best result (besides this win) is probably taking Andre Agassi to four sets at the 1997 US Open.

Image: Leander Paes
Photographs: Gary M Prior/Allsport/Getty Images
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Mahesh Bhupathi went down fighting to Moya (Wimbledon, 1998)

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Mahesh Bhupathi's doubles achievements are well-documented, but the same cannot be said about his singles career.

Unlike former partner Leander Paes, who had decent singles success before taking up doubles full time, Bhupathi was never good at singles.

His best performance, undoubtedly, has to be the five-set battle with Carlos Moya at the 1998 Wimbledon.

The Spaniard had just won at the French and was palpably the favourite going into the match. Bhupathi, though, had other plans and gave him a run for his money.

Moya's overall superiority, though, helped him scrape a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 win.

Image: Mahesh Bhupathi
Photographs: Ian Hodgson/Reuters
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