The Indian representation at this year's French Open is not just confined to the Somdev Devvarmans and Leander Paeses.
The official poster for Roland Garros 2010 has been created by Indian artist Nalini Malani (64), who earned the distinction of not only becoming the first Indian but also the first Asian artist to do so.
Ever since official French Open posters began in 1980 to celebrate art and tennis, a host of renowned European painters - such as Spanish Catalan painters Joan Miro and Antoni Tapies and Belgian artist Pierre Alechinsky - have been commissioned to design the posters for this Grand Slam.
Nalini, a Pakistan-born Mumbai-based artist, in her design, portrays a woman tennis player, stretching across two globes while playing a shot. The player on the poster has some golden butterflies flying around her while a woman lying on the ground looks up in anguish.
Nalini said she wanted to show the struggle and success of tennis players, especially women. "The young woman player strides the universe. She is in a magical space with golden butterflies around her. The falling figure shows that sometimes one wins but sometimes one can lose - but one has to go on playing the game," she told PTI from Paris.
"It was wonderful to be associated with the French Open. And indeed it was very satisfying to make the artwork for the poster that would be seen all over the world. I am happy to say my work is very much appreciated in Europe."
In the pamphlet distributed to the media after the launch of the poster, Nalini appreciated the achievements and contribution of Sania Mirza. “She is our youngest player trying hard at the game. Her tennis has revolutionised the mentality here. It created a sense of liberation,” she said.