Sports Tennis 06 Mar 2017 Leander Paes, Rohan ...

Leander Paes, Rohan Bopanna named in Davis Cup squad for Uzbekistan tie

Published Mar 6, 2017, 5:49 pm IST
Updated Mar 6, 2017, 5:51 pm IST
The Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan will be India's first with Mahesh Bhupathi as the non-playing captain.
Leander Paes. (Photo: PTI)
 Leander Paes. (Photo: PTI)

Mumbai: India have retained veteran tennis star Leander Paes for next month's Asia/Oceania Zone tie against Uzbekistan.

The tie, which will be India's first with Mahesh Bhupathi as the non-playing captain, will also see the return of Rohan Bopanna.


Bopanna had been ignored for last month's tie against New Zealand, which India had won.

He did extremely well at the just-concluded Dubai ATP 500 event, where he ended runner-up with partner Marcin Matkowski. En route the summit clash, he also got the better of Paes and his partner Gracia Gulliermo-Lopez in the semifinals.

New captain Bhupati said that the final competing team will be selected on the basis of performance and fitness.

“With the current roster of available players for the Davis Cup Tie, I am confident that this is the strongest squad for the tie. My decision on the final competing team for the weekend will be based on their performances over the next three weeks and their fitness levels during the week of the tie,” said Bhupati.


 “I look forward to a fruitful term as captain of the Davis Cup Team, and count-on strong support from the boys and the AITA,” added Bhupati.

India will go in with two specialist singles players in Yuki Bhambri and Ramkumar Ramnathan.

Talking about the new fitness guidelines for the team decided by Mahesh Bhupathi, Chatterjee said the captain had insisted that all the players need to be tested and suggested a place called Heal in Mumbai for the fitness test.

"We don't want a situation like Pune," he said referring to Saketh Myneni's last-minute pullout from the New Zealand tie due to fitness issues, forcing the inclusion of Vishnu Vardhan in the team.


Zeeshan said new fitness rules will only help Indian tennis go forward.

Quizzed on the issue of Paes continuing to be in the team at 43, Misra said AITA can't tell the veteran or any other player to not make himself available as long as they are performing.

"If the player is performing and giving results how can AITA say if he should play or not?" Misra said.

"He (Paes) reached the finals of the Dubai last week, so he should not be deprived," chipped in Chatterjee. AITA also picked top two juniors Dhruv Sunish and Nitin Sinha to be with the squad for exposure.