I did a Nostradamus for Indian Tennis

Nostradamus’ prediction on Indian men’s tennis
“At the height of the game’s glory in the land of the Aryan Civilization, a great warrior will be born in a place known for its shrubs that produce a brew of unmatchable purity. The warrior will be named after the moon God. He will travel to the land of the game’s origins and train in the ancient learning grounds. He will conquer all and become the most accomplished fighter produced by the training grounds. He will return to the land of his birth and find it shorn of most of its past glory and eclipsed by other regional powers. His people have been consumed by internal strife and the last link to the magnificent past is also fading away. The warrior will answer the call of his long deprived people and bring back the glorious days.”


How the prediction has panned out


In the 1980s (the best period for Indian men’s tennis with the duo of Vijay Amritraj and Ramesh Krishnan) in India (land of the Aryans), a tennis player (warrior) will be born in the tea (brew) producing state of Assam (a place which produces the best tea). The player will be named SomDev (the moon god as per Hindu nomenclature). He will go to the US (place where tennis originated) and play in the US collegiate system (formerly a breeding ground for all US players). He will become the collegiate system’s most decorated player (most accomplished fighter). He will come home to find that India haven’t been to the World Group in ten years (lost past glory) and have no half decent singles player – Thailand, Japan and South Korea have far better singles players (eclipsed by other Asian powers). The team has been suffered from infighting (internal strife) and the last of our Davis cup heroes – Leander Paes (last link to glorious past) is close to retirement (fading away). Somdev will bring new hope for long suffering Indian tennis fans (long deprived people ) and become India’s next great singles player. He will lead us back to the Davis Cup World Group and also bring back the days when Indian players were regular features in the main draw of Grand Slam events and other top tournaments (bring back the glory days).


Ok, fine, Nostradamus made no such prediction


But I am willing to put my head out and take ownership of this prediction. And really, this is the safest prediction that I have ever made. Somdev is that good.


Good enough to have won two NCAA singles titles breaking numerous records on the way.


Good enough to have beaten a bagful of top-100 players even before he turned professional. One of them happens to be Sam Querry – the guy who gave Rafael Nadal a real scare in the US Open.


And we haven’t even come to the best parts yet.


Somdev’s stint in the US collegiate circuit has ensured that he is supremely fit and athletic and has an all-court game with no glaring weaknesses. This is a rare combination for an Indian player – we haven’t had another one who wasn’t lacking on at least one count.


Ramesh Krishnan had a serve which acted merely as way to start the point. He was taught by his father who in turn was taught by a father who was self taught. Vijay Amritraj’s lack of stamina was his undoing in countless encounters. Leander’s singles game was extremely one-dimensional – chip and charge at every opportunity. Sania Mirza has also suffered from a lack of a good serve and technical flaws which cause frequent injuries. Somdev on the other hand is well equipped to face the challenges of the modern game.


Additionally, he has a very mature head on his shoulders. He could have turned professional a year earlier after his first NCAA title. But he resisted the temptation to do so, preferring to stay on for another year to finish college and work on his game. Such maturity will hold him in good stead – he will not get carried away by the fame that has already been bestowed upon him and also not get disheartened by the growing pains of finding his way around in the tough world of men’s professional tennis.


Is there anybody who still doubts that chances of my prediction coming true?

Avnish Anand

[Image Source :http://flickr.com/photos/ajna6/2760678130/]