India good enough to play Davis Cup World Group: Bhupathi


Kolkata : India’s doubles specialist Mahesh Bhupathi Thursday said the country had a team promising enough to qualify for the World Group of Davis Cup tennis.

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“India now has a big chance of moving to the World Group if they play well,” he said.

The Asia-Oceania Davis Cup Group I semi-final against Japan is scheduled in April. If India beat Japan, they will advance to the World Group play-off and be within hand-shaking distance of regaining their position in the World Group.

India entered the semi-final last week, beating Uzbekistan 3-2 at the R.K. Khanna Stadium in Delhi.

“I have great faith in Prakash Amritraj. I am a great believer in his ability. He is a great prospect for the Indian tennis. He can really do well in the coming days,” Bhupathi said lauding the youngster for his courageous win over Farrukh Dustov in the decider.

About him pairing with Leander Paes, he said, “We don’t see playing together before the Beijing Olympics.”

Bhupathi, who has 10 grand slam doubles titles in his kitty, is due to partner Mark Knowles of Bahamas in the men’s doubles. The Leander-Mahesh pair has not played together since December 2006, when they won the Asian Games doubles gold medal in Doha, after which they announced that they would never play together again.

But lately both the players have said that country was much bigger than individual egos and they would always team up if it were a matter of playing for India.

Talking about Sania Mirza opting out of the two tournaments in India this year, he said, “She is not fully fit. She is mentally fatigued. She is not in a position to play.”

“She has around six more years of tennis left and so skipping two tournaments in the country in one year will not make a big difference.”

“She was in a lot of controversy recently. She needed a break and time to recover,” he added denying that Sania had pulled out of Bangalore Open as Bhupathi’s company Globosport were not in right terms with the organisers.

Asked about the proposed Mahesh Bhupathi Tennis Academy here, he said: “I went to see the land in Rajarhat New Town. The academy should be ready in a year’s time. It will have four synthetic courts,” he said.