Mahesh Bhupathi

Mahesh Shrinivas Bhupathi (born 7 June 1974) is a retired Indian professional tennis player. In 1997, he became the first Indian to win a Grand Slam tournament (with Rika Hiraki). With his win at the Australian Open mixed doubles in 2006, he joined the elite group of eight tennis players who have achieved a career Grand Slam in mixed doubles. He is also the founder of International Premier Tennis League. In December 2016, Bhupathi was appointed as India’s next non-playing Davis Cup captain and took over the reins from Anand Amritraj in February 2017.

Davis Cup and Asian Games

Bhupathi has donned Indian colours numerous times for the Davis Cup as well as other international tournaments, including the Asian Games.

Bhupathi has played 55 matches for India in the Davis Cup (from 1995 to 2011), winning 35 and losing 20. Out of the 35 matches that he won, 27 of his victories came in doubles matches.

In 2006, Bhupathi won the doubles championship with Leander Paes at the Asian Games in Doha.

Personal life

In 2001, he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian awards. Bhupathi is an alumnus of the University of Mississippi in the United States. He is the founder of Globosport India private Limited which he started in 2002 as a sports and entertainment agency.

He married model Shvetha Jaishankar in 2002 but the couple got divorced in 2009 after seven years of marriage. He then married Miss Universe 2000 Lara Dutta in a civil ceremony on 16 February 2011 at BandraMumbai.[18] It was followed by a Christian ceremony on 20 February 2011 at Sunset Point in Goa.

On 1 August 2011, Dutta confirmed that she was pregnant with their first child. Their daughter Saira was born on 20 January 2012. In 2010, the couple started a film production company, Big Daddy Productions.

In 2014, Mahesh Bhupathi launched an authentic Indian sports brand, ZEVEN. The company currently endorses Ravindra JadejaRohan BopannaShikhar Dhawan and Mary Kom, amongst others.

Sports management and sports-based e-commerce

Bhupathi has also been involved in developing tennis facilities in India and, along with his company Globosport, has played a key rôle in developing and managing the careers of many Indian athletes, including Sania Mirza.

International Premier Tennis League

Mahesh Bhupathi announced the founding of the International Premier Tennis League on 25 May 2013, in Paris. The initial plan was to start the league with six charter franchises in Asia with the inaugural season commencing in November 2014. Bhupathi said the league would be modeled after the Indian Premier League, a cricket league in India. Justin Gimelstob said that the league would be star-driven as World Team Tennis was in the 1970s.

Awards

  • Padma Shri, 2001
  • Sports people for Change Karmaveer Puraskaar, 2007, iCONGO-Confederation of NGOs
  • Davis CupCommitment Award