Naresh Kumar thread

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Naresh Kumar thread

Post by PKBasu »

Many of us remember the wonderful daily Wimbledon snippets/highlights show on All India Radio by Naresh Kumar in the 1970s and 1980s. He was also Davis Cup captain for several years. But Naresh Kumar was a very fine, world-class tennis player too, and he played at Wimbledon himself for 19 years (1949 to 1968). He made the singles PQF (R4) in 1955, and made R3 twice. He also made the doubles QF three times, and the MxD QF once. Here is his Wimbledon file:

http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/scores/d ... index.html

And here is Naresh Kumar's Davis Cup record:
http://www.daviscup.com/en/players/play ... d=10003840#

He played most of his matches against other Asian countries, but also won a couple of matches as India beat Austria in 1954, and twice won a singles match each as India lost to Italy 2-3 in 1952 and 1958.
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Re: Naresh Kumar thread

Post by jayakris »

Of course, one of the greatest upsets inn Davis Cuup history, ever, happened under Naresh Kumar too. Frejus 1993.
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Re: Naresh Kumar thread

Post by Prashant »

Indeed - Naresh Kumar was the team captain that helped a barely 20 year old Leander Paes beat both Henri Leconte & Arnaud Boetsch on French clay. One of the best weekends in Indian sports...
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Re: Naresh Kumar thread

Post by sameerph »

PKBasu wrote:Many of us remember the wonderful daily Wimbledon snippets/highlights show on All India Radio by Naresh Kumar in the 1970s and 1980s.
Yes, truly used to look forward to listen to that highlight show in 80's by Naresh Kumar & Atul Premnarayan in the days when the Wimbledon coverge used to be confined to Semi final & final on DD. :D

And of course enjoyed that superb Frejus win.
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Re: Naresh Kumar thread

Post by Rajiv »

Last week Naresh Kumar won the prestigious Dronacharya Award.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/spo ... 740065.cms


Amongst my prized possession is a bunch of letters ( yes that was the norm in absence of E mails & watts app ) I exchanged with Naresh , before “Frejus” where in I had suggested him to include Vausdevan for 2nd singles over LP, considering LP’s lack of clay court experience , in comparison with Vasu’s longer playing experience on clay compared to LP , who as far I could remember had very little or no playing record on clay and had not played any European Red clay court tournaments before “Frejus” , and also the fact that Vasu plied his Tennis mostly on Red European Clay through out the year and also was based in Switzerland.
Naresh was very accommodating and receptive to my suggestion , and said there was a lot of merit in my argument and very few would appreciate that fact, but he (Naresh) might still persist with LP for 2nd singles and that LP was specifically working on clay court practice( which at that time not many were aware abut LP’s plan in South America on Red Clay).

And what a masterstroke that was to get LP in , otherwise Frejus would have never happened and behind that victory was the Tennis brain Naresh,and not only Frejus , but he was the architect of many more of our famous DC triumphs, and he well and truly deserves this Dronacharya award.

Naresh Kumar a great servant of Indian Tennis.
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Re: Naresh Kumar thread

Post by jayakris »

There cannot be too many others in India deserving a Dronacharya (lifetime) more than Naresh Kumar! He was superb. We got some of our best Davis Cup results under him, including the greatest win. And he always managed to get the best out of his players, the older and younger ones both included.
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Re: Naresh Kumar thread

Post by rajitghosh »

He taught Leander how to chip and charge. This helped him a lot in doubles also. He is a thorough gentleman.
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Re: Naresh Kumar thread

Post by PKBasu »

Thoroughly well-deserved Dronacharya award.

Great story, Rajiv (self-deprecatory too!).
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Re: Naresh Kumar thread

Post by Rajiv »

PKBasu wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:00 pm Thoroughly well-deserved Dronacharya award.

Great story, Rajiv (self-deprecatory too!).
And PKB , there is also another interesting long correspondence on the Switzerland tie at South Club prior to Frejus about concern on how RK could be match fit for the tie considering his lack of tournament play as he was semi retired by that time and so RK's impending schedule at Miami as warm up before the tie was discussed.
And at Miami , RK won a round and in R2 lost a close 3 setter to then top 10 player Michael Stich , and even though it was a loss , these 2 matches were enough to get RK into prime playing form for the tie , which he duly executed and along with LP led india to 3-2 win over the Swiss.
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Re: Naresh Kumar thread

Post by rajitghosh »

jayakris wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:10 pm There cannot be too many others in India deserving a Dronacharya (lifetime) more than Naresh Kumar! He was superb. We got some of our best Davis Cup results under him, including the greatest win. And he always managed to get the best out of his players, the older and younger ones both included.
Frejus was a great win no doubt but was it the greatest? Maybe if we consider the surface. But what about the win over Australia in the 1987 semis, especially Ramesh's win over Masur? And over Australia again in the 1974 Eastern Zone Final? And somewhere that 1995 win against Croatia in a world group play-off match stands out with Leander beating a certain Goran Ivanisevic in singles and doubles on grass. Other than the Croatia win in all the other 3 wins the best players for the opponents did not turn up. At Frejus Cedric Pioline was missing. In 1987, Pat Cash only played doubles and in 1974 the Australian stalwarts like John Newcombe were absent, though the 2nd string was pretty good.
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Re: Naresh Kumar thread

Post by jayakris »

^^^ I actually agree. Frejus is one of those ties which surprised everybody so much more than any other tie, in how it turned out. So everybody just started calling it our greatest win and all that. Somehow it just stays in the memory for the drama of an aging super star and a budding kid, on clay in a far-away land :) ... But in reality, several other ties were more impressive and were more important ties!
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Re: Naresh Kumar thread

Post by PKBasu »

Rajiv wrote: Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:30 am
PKBasu wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:00 pm Thoroughly well-deserved Dronacharya award.

Great story, Rajiv (self-deprecatory too!).
And PKB , there is also another interesting long correspondence on the Switzerland tie at South Club prior to Frejus about concern on how RK could be match fit for the tie considering his lack of tournament play as he was semi retired by that time and so RK's impending schedule at Miami as warm up before the tie was discussed.
And at Miami , RK won a round and in R2 lost a close 3 setter to then top 10 player Michael Stich , and even though it was a loss , these 2 matches were enough to get RK into prime playing form for the tie , which he duly executed and along with LP led india to 3-2 win over the Swiss.
I've discussed this in the Ramesh Krishnan thread, but in 1993, Ramesh (although already semi-retired) would prepare for each of the Davis Cup rounds by playing an ATP tournament before it. So, before the Switzerland match (which I watched at South Club, including that terrific straight sets win over Hlasek), Ramesh went to Key Biscayne (now called the Miami Masters), beat Brett Stephen (NZL, 43) in R2, and took a set of Michael Stich (GER, 10) in R3. Similarly, before the tie against France in Frejus, Ramesh played at Gstaad (on clay), and beat the French number 1, Cedric Pioline (FRA, 18) in easy straight sets in R1. Before the Australia tie in September, I watched Ramesh play the final qualifying match for the US Open, losing a tough 3-setter to Michael Teggutt of Australia. By then, he really was at the fag end of his career, and we lost badly on grass to Australia in the Davis Cup (world group) SF.
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Re: Naresh Kumar thread

Post by PKBasu »

That Pat Cash was only able to play doubles in the Davis Cup semifinal in 1987 (the same year he had won the Wimbledon singles title) was good for us, of course, but Cash was very frequently injured -- so it wasn't such a surprise for him to not be available for singles duty in the Davis Cup. The run to the Wimbledon title was a bit of a fluke, in that Cash was rarely fit and in form when the Slam events came around, or when Davis Cup called.
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Re: Naresh Kumar thread

Post by PKBasu »

Naresh Kumar's best run at Wimbledon was in 1955, when he made the last 16 (R4) of singles, beating Ian Vermaak (the 1959 FO runner-up) in R3 -- and also made the QF in doubles (partnering Krish). He made the QF of doubles at Wimbledon 3 times in all, partnering Krish again in 1958 and Narendra Nath in 1953.

Naresh Kumar won the Essex Championships in 1957, beating Krish in the final. Only other Indian won it (Athar Ali Fyzee in 1921), but there were a number of Indian runner-ups, including Jaidip Mukerjea and Anand Amritraj:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essex_Championships
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Re: Naresh Kumar thread

Post by sameerph »

Sad news coming in of Naresh Kumar passing away :-(

Former Davis Cup captain Naresh Kumar no more
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