Date of Birth: 18/03/1984
Birth Place: Denver, Colorado, USA
Resides: Carmel, IN, USA
Plays: Right Handed – Single Handed Backhand
Game-Style: Serve and Volley
Favourite Surface: Grass
Age Started Tennis: 4
Turned Pro: 2004
In 2003, representing The University of Illinois, Rajeev helped the ‘Fighting Illini’ go undefeated in the season and win the NCAA team championship. He himself also won the NCAA doubles title with teammate Brian Wilson. Rajeev very much holds his college career close to his heart. To date, Rajeev has won one ATP Tour singles title on grass in Newport, Rhode Island in 2009, and four singles titles on the ATP Challenger Tour. In 2009, he also became a top 100 ranked player in singles. It is however in doubles that he has had most of his success, winning six ATP Tour doubles titles as well as reaching several quarter and semi-finals at Grand Slam level. In 2013 Rajeev reached the final of ATP Challenger event in Guadalajara, Mexico. In May, Rajeev won his first singles title of 2013 at the Rio Quente Challenger and his first doubles title at the Johannesburg Challenger. Rajeev finished 2013 reaching the Tiburon Challenger doubles final. In 2014 he won the Nottingham Challenger doubles event in June, partnering Chris Guccione. He and Jonathan Erlich also made the finals of the Newport, Rhode Island doubles event.
Rajeev made an excellent start to the year when he made it through to the semi final of the Morelos Challenger in Mexico in February, eventually losing in a tight match to Victor Estrella. In Mexico again, soon afterwards, Rajeev also fought through to a singles semi final where he narrowly lost to Gilles Muller. Mexico proved to be a fertile hunting ground for Rajeev as he subsequently won the Leon Challenger defeating Sam Groth 6-2, 6-2, as well as making the doubles quarters.
He then carried his good form to the Far East and partnered Toshihide Matsui to the semi final of the Taipei Challenger. After appearing at the French Open Rajeev won the first Nottingham Challenger doubles event in June, partnering Chris Guccione. At the second Nottingham event the following week he had a great run to the singles semi finals, losing this time to Sam Groth. In July, in the US again, he and Jonathan Erlich made the finals of the Newport, Rhode Island doubles event, losing narrowly to Australians Guccione and Hewitt. The team of Ram and Erlich then also battled through to the semi final stage in Washington DC.
Rajeev played in the singles, men’s doubles (with Scott Lipsky) and mixed doubles (with Melanie Oudin) at the US Open in August. In the men’s doubles Rajeev and Scott had a spectacular run to the semi-finals culminating in a tight three-set loss, perhaps inevitably, to the Bryan brothers, 4-6, 6-4, 3-6. On their way they Rajeev and Scott beat three seeded pairs.
Year to Date
Rajeev began his year strongly in Texas at the Dallas Challenger, where he reached the final but experienced flu-like symptoms the night before and, while he gave it his best shot, eventually had to retire. He then followed up with a quarter final place at the Memphis Open in February and went one better at Delray Beach, Florida, when he and Eric Butorac reached the semi finals, eventually losing in a tie break decider to the Bryan brothers. On Rajeev’s favourite surface: grass, he took the Gerry Weber Open in Halle ATP 500 with Raven Klaasen.Rajeev took two challenger titles in doubles as well as making one further final.
On the singles circuit, Rajeev took a $100k challenger event in Mexico on the hard courts before taking an impressive title in the Newport Hall of Fame ATP 250 taking out fellow big servers Ivo Karlovic and John Isner on the way to victory via many tie breaks!
Rajeev began playing tennis aged four. Father, Raghav, is a botanist; mother, Sushma, is a scientific technician. As a junior, he won three US national singles events and seven US national doubles events. Rajeev then went on to play at Carmel High School (Indiana) where he earned All-State honours and became the state singles champion. In 2002, he reached the Wimbledon junior doubles final with Brian Baker. Growing up, Rajeev admired Boris Becker and Pete Sampras, the latter of whom Rajeev’s style of play has been likened to. Away from the tennis court, Rajeev enjoys playing golf, cricket and table tennis. He is coached by Stephen Amritraj and Bryan Smith.