Mahesh Bhupathi Available for the Davis Cup World Group Play-off
Tennis ace Mahesh Bhupathi on Wednesday declared his availability for India’s Davis Cup World Group play-off match at home against Serbia later in the year, saying that doubles rubber could be crucial against a strong opposition.
“I am always available. I know the captain’s (Anand Amritraj) talk about the same just like coach (Zeeshan Ali) has. I think it is important because the doubles will be pivotal in that match, so let’s see how things pan out,” Bhupathi said on the sidelines of a promotional event organised by leading tennis racquet manufacturer Wilson in Mumbai.
The 39-year-old winner of four men’s doubles Grand Slam crowns held out some hope for India against the strong Serbians as the tie would be played at home.
“Any opponent is difficult in Davis Cup. Once teams come to India anything is possible I feel, so we are looking (forward) to play a home tie,” he said.
“I hope he doesn’t play,” said Bhupathi with a laugh when pointed out the possibility of Novak Djokovic coming to India for the tie.
Bhupathi also hailed the victory of Somdev Devvarman-spearheaded India over South Korea in the away tie to gain a berth in the Davis Cup World Group play-off.
“It is very exciting. We have not beaten Korea in Korea before. I have been part of many teams that has been to Korea and have come disappointed because it is so hard to beat those guys there,” Bhupathi said.
“I think Somdev and the boys did amazingly well and this a chance to play in the World Group,” said Bhupathi, who has launched the IPL-style International Premier Tennis League which has signed up world number one and two Rafael Nadal of Spain and Serbia’s Djokovic, among other top players.
On Tuesday, Leander Paes had hailed the last week’s feat of the Indian squad, saying “Kudos to the boys for a job well done in Korea.”
On India’s chances against Serbia, Bhupathi said it was still a long way off and things were not clear about who all would be available for the tie.