It is never too late in tennis and Divij Sharan is one such example. After almost 15 years on the circuit, the doubles pro has touched the height of his career.
It has been a memorable year for the Delhi boy as he clinched the ATP 250 European Open doubles title with American partner Scott Lipsky in Antwerp, Belgium, and breaking into world top 50.
“It has been a great year for me. This is the first time that I have played all the Grand Slams in the same year. I have also reached my career best ranking and am keen build from here in 2018,” Sharan told this paper from Bratislava, Slovakia.
According to the latest ATP rankings only two Indians are in the top 50 in doubles — Rohan Bopanna, currently 15th and Sharan. Purav Raja (62), Leander Paes (70) and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (97) are the other top 100 Indian players.
Asked what was the driving force behind his long but not too successful career, pat came the reply, “The love for the game and trying to be the best at what I do.
“I owe it to my parents and family for all their support and the sacrifices they have made. Also all my coaches and trainers who have helped through my career.”
The Delhi lad, who is active on the ATP tours, made the final of his last three tournaments, which boosted his ranking. He finished runner-up at Challenger events in Brest and Tashkent with different partners.
“My next goal is to break into the top 30 so that I can play all the ATP Masters events in 2018,” he said.
It was a positive start of the year for Sharan, who reached the final of the season-opening Chennai Open with Purav Raja and consolidated as the year passed by.
Sharan matured late and developed his game over the years. Finishing the year on a strong note will be on his mind.
His ranking makes him a hot favourite to pair up with Bopanna in the Davis Cup.
Also, he has to identify a permanent partner with whom he will play regularly on the tour, because playing every other tournament with a new man hampers progress. Raja, who was Sharan’s regular partner till 2016, now pairs up with Paes.
Asked if he would continue his partnership with Lipsky, Sharan said, “We will speak about it. Scott is done for the year and headed home. I plan to play some Challengers next month before calling it a year.”