|Residence||Bay Area, San Francisco, United States|
8 December 1976 |
|Height||5 ft 7 in (1.7 m)|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Career record||W–L / 180–155|
|Career titles||0 WTA, 2 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 147 (12 May 1997)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||2R (1998)|
|French Open||Q2 (2001)|
|US Open||Q3 (1999)|
|Career titles||0 WTA, 10 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 115 (23 July 2001)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||1R (1998, 2001)|
|French Open||1R (2001)|
|US Open||Q1 (1997, 2001)|
|Other Doubles tournaments|
|Olympic Games||1R (2000)|
|Last updated on: 11 October 2011.|
|Competitor for India|
|Bronze||1998 Bangkok||Mixed Doubles|
Early life and tennis career
Nirupama was born in the Southern Indian town of Coimbatore and started playing tennis at the age of 5. She was influenced very much by her cousins, K.G.Suresh and K.G. Ramesh, and her brother Ganesh, all of whom played tennis at the national level. Her father K.S. Vaidyanathan was a cricketer who had played for Tamil Nadu in Ranji Cricket tournament coached her at the start of her career. Her first tennis tournament foray was the National Under 12 tournament, where she reached the semi-final and went on to win her 1st National title in Under 14 age group at the age of 13. One year later in 1991, she won the National Women's title at age 14. She won the National Women's title in 1992–1996. In her younger days she did not have much competition in the Girls draw and she played in the Boys draw and won most of the titles. On 23 May 2002, she married Sanjeev Balakrishnan, a software engineer from Bay Area, California; the brother of the Indian sprinter Rajeev Balakrishnan. She therefore changed her surname, Vaidyanathan, to her husband's first name, Sanjeev.
In 1996, she moved to Luxembourg where she underwent training to play professional tennis. She turned professional at the age of 18 and started playing mainly in Europe. Nirupama shifted her base to Sarasota, Florida in 1997 where she trained with David O Meara who was the former coach of Leander Paes for two years. By then her ranking was in the 160s and in 1998 Australian Open, she became the first Indian woman in the modern era to feature and win a round at a main draw Grand Slam, beating Italy's Gloria Pizzichini. She has also won the Bronze Medal at the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games in Mixed Doubles, partnering Mahesh Bhupathi. For the past five years, Nirupama has been on the expert commentary team along with Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj for ESPN-STAR sports, one of Asia's biggest TV networks for the four Grand Slams. Nirupama also runs a tennis coaching camp in the Bay Area, California. She made a comeback in 2010 when she represented India to play in the Commonwealth Games 2010 and in Asian games in Guangzhou as a 33-year old. She is launching her autobiography "The Moonballer" in August this year..
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- "Paes, Nirupama win first round matches". The Hindu. 14 January 2000. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- Keerthivasan, K (9 May 2002). "Basking in the aura of success". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
- "Indian eves falter". The Hindu. 13 April 2001. Retrieved 21 January 2010.