India’s former Davis Cup captain Naresh Kumar dead

India’s former Davis Cup captain Naresh Kumar dead

Kolkata: Former tennis star and captain of Indian Davis Cup team Naresh Kumar died in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Kumar, 93, played 17 ties for India in the Davis Cup across eight years.

He is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee condoled the demise of the former Davis Cup player.

Kumar played during the 1950s and reached the Wimbledon singles fourth round in 1955, losing to top seed and eventual champion Tony Trabert of the United States. He was also a three-time men’s doubles and 1957 mixed doubles quarter-finalist at Wimbledon.

Naresh Kumar, who also turned professional commentator of the sport, had played his last competitive match – according to his ATP profile – in the first round at Wimbledon in 1963.

For India in Davis Cup, Kumar had participated in 17 ties for the country and later became the non-playing captain that handed the then 16-year-old Leander Paes his debut in the competition in an April 1990 tie against Japan.

Kumar was the only tennis coach to have been awarded the Dronacharya Award when he won the accolade for lifetime achievement in 2020.

He was also the second lawn tennis player, after Ramanathan Krishnan, to win the Arjuna Award, in 1962.

” I am deeply saddened by the passing of Naresh Kumar in Kolkata,” Banerjee wrote on her Twitter account.

“A great tennis player, he will be fondly remembered. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones. May the find strength in this difficult time,’ the chief minister said in her condolence message.

UNI

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