Mahesh Birthday Special: Here's a look at the tennis star's career so far

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, June 06, 2022, 08:00 PM IST
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Mahesh Bhupathi |

Mahesh Bhupathi, who turns 48 (born June 7, 1974), is an Indian former doubles World No.1 tennis player.

He formed a special partnership with another Indian tennis star Leander Paes.

Their partnership began in 1997, when they won their first ATP Tour championship together at the Chennai Open.

The duo then reached the semi-finals of three of the four Grand Slams in 1998, but lost at the semi-final stage each time. They overcame that specific hurdle in 1999, reaching their first final together at the Australian Open, but were unable to win the title.

But the sadness was short-lived, as the top seeds advanced to the final of the following Grand Slam, the French Open. The unseeded duo defeated Goran Ivanisevic and Jeff Tarango and reached the finish line in style this time, winning 6–2, 7–5.

The win at the French Open sent the duo to the top of the men's doubles rankings.

Paes and Bhupathi won their second Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 1999, coming back from a set down to beat Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands and Jared Palmer of the United States 6-7, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6.

They were the top-ranked men's doubles combo at the end of the decade and the millennium. However, they were unable to match the season's highs in 2000.

Their third and last Grand Slam final together came in 2001 at the French Open, when they defeated Petr Pala and Pavel Vizner 7–6, 6–3.

Off the court, their feud became bitter, with accusations of favouritism and lack of dedication flying about.

They re-joined exactly a decade later for another spectacular season, which began with them winning the Chennai Open at home and ended with them winning the Cincinnati Masters.

They even advanced to the final of the 2011 Australian Open, but were defeated 6-3, 6-4 by the famous Mike and Bob Bryan.

The Indian duo has a 303–103 career record together. They have a Davis Cup record of longest winning streak in doubles, with 23 straight wins.

After retiring, Bhupathi founded the International Premier Tennis League. In December 2016, he was appointed as India's next non-playing Davis Cup captain and took over the reins from Anand Amritraj in February 2017.

In 2001, Bhupathi was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India's highest civilian awards.

On the personal level, Bhupathi married model Shvetha Jaishankar in 2002 but the couple got divorced in 2009 after seven years of marriage. He then married Miss Universe 2000 Lara Dutta in a civil ceremony in 2011. The couple had daughter Saira in 2012. They started a film production company, Big Daddy Productions In 2010.

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