Indian tennis fraternity shocked by Australia’s pullout

April 25th, 2009 - 5:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Davis Cup New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) The Indian tennis fraternity was shocked by Australia’s decision to pull out of the Davis Cup tie against India due to security reasons, and hoped it was an isolated case that would not affect other major events in the run-up the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Tennis Australia (TA) Saturday refused to send its team for the tie to be hosted in Chennai May 8-10 after their appeal against International Tennis Federation (ITF) Davis Cup Committee’s decision to declare the southern Indian metropolis a safe venue was turned down.

“Australia’s decision is wrong and it is sad and unfortunate. The parent body (ITF) has cleared Chennai from the security point of view and they had no reason to believe otherwise. Where is the sanctity of the parent body then? This decision of Australia should be taken seriously by the ITF,” C.G.K. Bhupathi, former player and father of Indian Davis Cupper Mahesh Bhupathi, told IANS.

Former Davis Cupper Naresh Kumar and Akhtar Ali said Australia’s move should not set a precedent for other countries with many sporting events lined up in the next couple of years.

India will be hosting major sporting events - badminton World Championship (2009), hockey World Cup, AFC Challenge Cup and Commonwealth Games in 2010.

“They have made a mountain out of a molehill. Tell me any place in world that is safe. Bombs are going off in London and other places as well,” said Naresh.

Naresh said that Australia found an excuse to pull out because its top player Llyeton Hewitt was apprehensive of visiting India.

“Hewitt did not want to come to India. Hewitt is having a good clay court season. He is on a comeback trail and won a tournament after two years. So may be he was not willing to play in Davis Cup now. And Australia without Hewitt would not have been so strong. India would have been better placed to win the tie.”

Akhtar, a Davis Cup selector, said that India should not be seen as the same light as Pakistan.

“India cannot be compared to Pakistan. Besides Australia should not draw parallel with Indian Premier League which is a month long event with so many teams competing. Davis Cup is a matter of three days.”

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