Nirupama was born in the Southern Indian town of Coimbatore and started playing tennis at the age of 5. She was influenced very much by her cousins, K.G.Suresh and K.G. Ramesh who were some of the best in India and her brother Ganesh who also played top level tennis.
Her father K.S. Vaidyanathan was a cricketer who had played for Tamil Nadu in Ranji Cricket tournament coached her at the start of her career. Her first tennis tournament foray was the National Under 12 tournament, where she reached the semi-final and went on to win her 1st National title in Under 14 age group at the age of 13. One year later in 1991, she won the National Women’s title at age 14.
She won the National Women’s title in 1992-1996.
In 1996, she moved to Luxembourg where she underwent training to play professional tennis. She turned professional at the age of 18 and started playing mainly in Europe.
Nirupama shifted her base to Sarasota, USA in 1997 where she trained with David O Meara who was the former coach of Leander Paes for two years. By then her ranking was in the 160s and in 1999 Australian Open, she became the first Indian woman in the modern era to win a round at a Grand Slam, beating Italy's Gloria Pizzichini.
For the past five years, Nirupama have been on the expert commentary team along with Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj for ESPN-STAR sports, one of Asia’s biggest TV networks for Wimbledon, U.S. Open and other Grand Slam events.
Nirupama also runs a tennis coaching camp in the Bay Area, California.