Chennai: Mahesh Bhupathi, who has featured in 13 out of 18 previous editions of the Chennai Open, has given the 19th edition of the ATP event a miss as the country’s first Grand Slam champion prepares for his “semi-retirement” from tennis.
Bhupathi is currently taking a break in Mumbai but he says his heart is in Chennai. “Even when the draws were being made, my eyes were fixed on the players and who plays who,” he said.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion is running the last lap of his storied career, but he is yet to announce his retirement date. He would be partnering US-based Indian Rajeev Ram at the 2014 Australian Open.
“I am not in a position to actually decide how many events I will be playing in 2014. Depending on how well I do in Dubai Open (where he is the defending champion), I guess my career will be decided.
As long as I have points and can get into the draw, I want to play, but the farthest is Wimbledon this year,” said Mahesh, who is busy working on the high-profile International Premier Tennis League, which is expected to start at the end of 2014.