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The majestic game of tennis is among the major sports at which Indians have excelled and fared well enough to be in world class. Ramanathan Krishnan and Vijay Amritraj have served the country well as beacons in international tennis to inspire generations of younger tennis players to emulate them. The game had its origin in India late in the 19th century and began to take organised shape early in the present century. Like cricket, it owes in origin to the army cantonments and the biggest towns where the upper middle-class took to the game among with British officers and business-men. Clubs catering to tennis alongwith Cricket mushroomed throughout the country. The first All India Championships in tennis were held in 1910 at which both men and women took part. Several Indians made an impression on the tennis courts and among them must be mentioned Sleem and Deane, who competed in the Davis Cup tournament in 1920. They managed to beat France 4-1 in Paris. But, in the next round India lost to Japan. Sleem remained India’s Captain for several years. The others, who won renown included Ranga Rao, S.M. Hadi, E.V. Bobb, P.L. Mehta, Brooke-Edwards, C. Ramaswamy and Balagopalan. They were among the pioneers of Indian tennis.
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