Australian pullout leaves Indian Davis Cup squad disappointed

April 25th, 2009 - 9:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Davis Cup New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) The Indian Davis Cup squad is livid with Tennis Australia (TA) for refusing to travel to Chennai to play the Asia-Oceania Group I third round tie scheduled May 8-10.
TA announced Saturday that it will not not send its team for the Davis Cup tie against India because of security concerns. The decision followed the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Board’s rejection of TA’s appeal to shift the tie out of India.

India’s veteran Davis Cup campaigner Leander Paes, Somdev Devvarman and the newest entrant to the squad Yuki Bhambri all expressed disappointment at the Australian move.

Paes called the decision of the 28-times champion an “extreme step”.

“It is extremely disappointing that Australia has decided not to come to Chennai. The ITF has examined the facilities and declared the tie safe as far as security is concerned. The safe conduct of Chennai Open in January and the assurances of the Tamil Nadu government should have been enough. It’s unfortunate that Australia has taken this extreme step,” Paes said in a statement from Rome.

Somdev, who played a key role in India’s win over Chinese Taipei in the second round in March, said the decision has let down the tennis fans.

“I am very disappointed to learn of Australia’s withdrawal. I was looking forward to a very challenging and exciting tie and it would have been great for fans in Chennai and India,” Somdev said.

Yuki, who won his maiden ITF on the men’s circuit Saturday and is a reserve player in the squad was surprised to hear the news.

“I was looking forward to meet players like Chris Guccione and Llyeton Hewitt. It would have been a great experience for me. But it is good in a way, now that we will move straight to the World Group play-offs. Hopefully they will show up next time,” Yuki said.

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