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Meet Sriram Balaji- first man from Indian Army to qualify for Wimbledon

Indian army men hit the headlines for all the right reasons. It was N Sriram Balaji’s turn to make India proud in the world stage. He scripted history as he became the first player in Indian Army history to qualify for the Wimbledon main draw.

Following his historic achievement, the Indian Army took to their Twitter platform to appreciate Sriram Balaji. It was well and truly a perfect sight to watch an Indian army man play the fearless brand of Tennis as he had partnered with friend Vishnu Vardhan for their debut Grand Slam appearance.

Credits: The Better India

Hailing from Coimbatore, Sriram Balaji, when was 10 years old, he showcased his mettle in the sport he truly loved the most. He grew from strength to strength and established himself as the top-quality player. He had ranked first in India in the Under-12 tennis category at his age.

After 16 long years, the 26-year-old Sriram made the international headlines as he became the first man from the Indian Army to qualify for the Wimbledon.

A cadet at Bengaluru’s historic Madras Engineering Regiment, Sriram has bagged five ATP Challenger Cups, since 2017, the year he joined Madras Sappers. He is appointed as a Junior Commissioned Officer and he had qualified for the iconic tournament in the men’s doubles category after he and his friend, Vishnu Vardhan got the better of Denys Molchanov and Igor Zelenay in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 in the second round of qualifiers to create a record.

Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan were the only Indian pair to have turned up in 2018 edition, and this was the maiden Grand Slam appearance for both professionals, as per The News Minute. In May 2019, the duo won doubles title in the ATP Challenger tourney held at Samarkand in Uzbekistan.

Sriram also bagged a Davis Cup match in the doubles category against Uzbekistan in 2017. His global rank is 117. In an interview with The Scroll after coming through flying colours in the ATP Challenger circuit, Sriram said, “It’s definitely another step forward in our career. We believe we can go deeper in the tournament. We are playing good and we are confident. But we would like to take it a step a time.”

Written by Sagar Abhinandan

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