#4 Leander Paes
In the twilight of his career, however, when most boxers are long retired, Hopkins is experiencing an awakening of sorts. He has won eight doubles and ten mixed doubles Grand Slam titles. He holds a career Grand Slam in men’s doubles and mixed doubles and has achieved the rare men’s doubles/mixed doubles double at the 1999 Wimbledon tournament. His mixed doubles Wimbledon title in 2010 made him the second man to win Wimbledon titles in three decades. He has competed in consecutive Olympics from 1992 to 2016, making him the first Indian and only tennis player to compete at seven Olympic Games.
He is a former Davis Cup team captain and holds the record for the most Davis Cup doubles wins with 43 victories. Recently, India’s veteran tennis star Leander Paes bettered his own record by winning his 44th doubles match in Davis Cup along with debutant Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan as India took an unassailable 3-0 lead against Pakistan with victory in the third rubber in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan. Paes’ record of 44 wins is unlikely to be broken anytime soon as except him, none of the active doubles player feature in the top-10 list.
#3 Mary Kom
When it comes to women’s boxing, there is perhaps no name bigger than that of Mary Kom. At the World Championships on October 12, Mary settled for a bronze medal after losing to Turkey’s Busenaz Cakiroglu in an intense semifinal bout. Despite the defeat, it was a stupendous campaign for the 36-year-old that added to her long list of accomplishments. In doing so, she secured an unprecedented eighth world medal, thus improving her own record as the most successful boxer in the history of the tournament. Besides an impressive haul of six world titles, her career is also studded with an Olympic bronze medal (2012), five Asian titles, gold medals at the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, besides numerous other international top finishes.
She is the only Indian female boxer to win an Olympic medal. She clinched a bronze medal in 51 kg category in 2012, defeating Britain’s Nicola Adams. Her first World Championship medal was a sliver in the 48kg category. She followed it up with a gold medal in 2002. She won gold in both 2005 and 2006 after which she went on to add to her tally in 2008, 2010 and 2018.
#2 Sharath Kamal
The 37-year-old Sharath Kamal is one of the best table tennis players that India has ever produced. He came into limelight when he qualified for the 2004 Athens Olympics. He was the first Indian to win the Pyongyong Invitational Tournament in North Korea in 2007. Only three years later, he clinched the US Open Table Tennis Men’s Championships. He has been playing in the European League for the last five years. Presently ranked 41st in the world, he was honoured with Arjuna Award in 2004 for his brilliant performance in the Commonwealth Championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.