Former Davis Cupper Shyam Minotra dead

August 19th, 2008 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) Former Davis Cupper and Asian Games medallist Shyam Minotra died Tuesday after a prolonged battle with cancer, the All India Tennis Association said. Minotra, 62, was a widower and left behind his only son.

A tennis player of great talent, Minotra could beat any top star on his day, and his scalps included the great Romanian Ille Nastase.

He was a part of the Davis Cup team in the 1960s, and gave India the Asian Championship doubles title along with S P Mishra defeating Premjit Lal and Jaideep Mukerjea.

Minrotra also won the Asian Games doubles bronze partnering Charadip Mukherjee at Bangkok in 1970.

After his retirement from the game, Minotra had a long stint as chairman of the Davis Cup selection committee, besides functioning as secretary of the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association (DLTA).

Minotra’s death cast a gloom over the nation’s tennis fraternity.

Jaideep Mukerjea, whose playing career began alongside Minotra, described him as a great talent who could not fulfil his early promise.

“He was two-three years junior to me. We started off together. We were also together in the Davis Cup squad, where Shyam was the fourth member”.

“He had a great backhand. And as a human being, he was peerless. Everybody loved him,” Mukerjea said.

Ex Davis Cup coach Akhtar Ali said Minotra was a great serve and volley player, who excelled on the grasscourt.

“He was a member of the Davis Cup team when I was the coach. He was highly talented,” Akhtar said.

Paying tribute to Minotra, S. P. Misra said “Though we were in contention for the fourth member’s position in the Davis Cup squad, we had a very good relationship. He was a great player. We had a good association in the Davis Cup selection committee for 10 long years.”

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