Jaidip Mukerjea

jm1Played Asian Singles Champion Cup in 1966, 1970 and 1972.

Played for India in Davis Cup for 13 years from 1960 to 1973, was in the Indian team which reached the Davis Cup final for the first time in 1966, where in partnership with Ramanathan Krishnan beat world champion John Newcombe and Tony Roche in the doubles. Has played 97 Davis Cup matches for India. Was a regular player in the international men’s circuit from 1960 to 1974, including all the grand slams. Reached the last 16 (4th round) in the men’s singles at Wimbledon 1963, 1964, 1966 and 1973. Doubles quarter final, 1967 and 1973. Reached last 16 (4th round) French open 1965 and 1966. Reached last 16th of U. S. Open 1962. Has beaten most of the top ranked players in the world including Roy Emerson, Fred Stolle, Arthur Ashe, Manuel Santana and others.

jm2Served India as the Davis Cup Captain 1994-1999, was the coach of the Indian tennis team at the Atlanta Olympic Games 1996 where Leander Paes won the bronze medal in the singles for India, it was the only medal won by India at the games. Coached the Dutch and Malaysian Davis Cup teams and has done coaching assignments for the international tennis federation around the world.

ADMINISTRATION : Life vice-president of the all India tennis association. Chairman development committee of all India Tennis, member governing body of Sports Authority of India. Was the secretary of Bengal state tennis association for 4 years. Secretary of the Calcutta south club the premier tennis club of India for 12 years and president for 3 years.

jm3TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR $1, 75,000 WTA Kolkata Sunfeast open – 2005 2006 & 2007. The largest ladies international tournament in South Asia. Tournament director of us $50,000 ATP challenger event in Mumbai India 2000 and 2001. Tournament director of Kolkata ITF futures 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008.

TOURNAMENT ORGANISER of five ITF futures ($15,000 USD held at KOLKATA 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008)

AWARDS : Received the life time achievement award from International Tennis Federation 2003

RECEIVED THE ARJUNA AWARD (TENNIS) by the Government of India in 1967

At present runs two tennis academies in eastern India (Kolkata and Siliguri) to promote tennis.

Reminiscing the glorious ’66 Davis Cup when India won prestige

jm4Jaidip Mukerjea and Ramanathan Krishnan outclassed Tony Roche and John Newcombe in the Davis Cup doubles match against Australia in Melbourne in 1966.

THE HINDU, Saturday, Jan 09, 2010, Chennai, by S. Thyagarajan

They landed in Melbourne during the Christmas week of 1966 like lambs in line for slaughter. The Aussie media, with its penchant for running down the underdog, dismissed the title fight for the Davis Cup as a “Challenge Round without a challenge.” However, when the final script emerged there was spontaneous acclamation for India, notwithstanding the 1-4 defeat in the first ever appearance at the tennis summit.

Jack Fingleton, that versatile Aussie scribe, who reported on the match for The Hindu, summed up the contest thus: “India won high honours and high national prestige in this Challenge Round. Its players were magnificent in defeat and in victory (in doubles). They provided one of the most pleasant Davis Cup Challenge Rounds in Australia. The demeanour of all the players was absolutely magnificent with not a single query against a decision and not a single tantrum. And surely, India will come again here and very soon to fight another Challenge Round.”

jm5Awesome foursome
The Aussie foursome — Fred Stolle, Roy Emerson, Tony Roche and John Newcombe, was awesome. With 20 trophy triumphs up to that point, the Aussies were decidedly the favourites. India had entered the sacred arena after an epic victory that Ramanathan Krishnan achieved against Tomas Koch of Brazil at Calcutta.

This contest, fit enough for verses and ballads, forms part of Davis Cup folklore. But on the eve of the Cup final, the Indian quartet of Krishnan, Jaidip Mukerjea, Premjit Lall and S.P. Mishra, with R.K. Khanna as the non-playing captain, was portrayed as no match to the Aussies, headed by the high priest of coaching, Harry Hopman.

On day one, Stolle outplayed Krishnan in 74 minutes (6-3, 6-2, 6-4). Mukerjea began gloriously but went down to the master craftsman, Emerson 5-7, 4-6, 2-6.

About Stolle’s victory over Krishnan, Jack Fingleton, wrote, “Powerfully-built Krishnan with shoulders on him like a wrestler, and could not pace it with the lean greyhound, Stolle, who bounded around the court as if on rubbers.

“Krishnan’s tennis belongs to another decade. He plays the game like Jack Crawford of the 30s, easeful, graceful fluently trying to work his opponent out of position. This is not the way of the modern power player, who serves like a thunderbolt and never bothers to probe….. I thought Krishnan never settled down.”

What the Aussies had not reckoned with was the resilience of the Indian pair, Krishnan and Mukerjea, who outclassed the redoubtable duo, Roche and Newcombe (4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4). The hero was Mukerjea.

jm6“We saw infinitely better tennis from Mukerjea than anybody expected” Fingleton commented. “People were asking yesterday who Mukerjea was. They had hardly heard of him, and knew only that he had finished among the last 16 at the last Wimbledon. Well, he has put himself on a pinnacle of popularity here now, and was the dominant personality of the Challenge Round. The crowd simply adored him.”

Over 9000 spectators watched this match.

Hopes revived, the crowd was waiting for the showdown between Krishnan and Emerson. It was somewhat a cake-walk for the Aussie (6-0, 6-2, 10-8), though Krishnan fought gamely in the third set for 56 minutes.

Recapturing the mood of the match, Fingleton described how Krishnan’s attempts to slow down the marauding Aussie proved futile.

“Krishnan tried to slow him down early, but it was like trying to stop an express train with confetti,” he observed.

Mukerjea, however, continued his splendid showing stretching Stolle to five sets in the dead rubber, giving India’s first Challenge a memorable finish.

Stolle won 7-5, 6-8, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.

Forty-three years later, caught in a web of nostalgia, Krishnan, recalled that glorious tie.

Touching on the historic doubles win, Krishnan observed, “Mukerjea and I tried to play better than the other… this made the contest outstanding. You know, that was the only defeat of the year for the Aussie pair.”

The maestro was grateful to the tennis fraternity for remembering his best matches and thanked Aircel, Karti Chidambaram, and TNTA headed by M.A. Alagappan, for honouring the 1966 squad. “We will miss Premjit,” Krishnan trailed off with a tinge of emotion.

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For the record, India reached the Davis Cup final again in 1974 but forfeited the tie against South Africa due to the government’s apartheid policies. The next appearance was in 1987 against Sweden, which India lost 0-5.