Matsuoka feels India can do well in Davis Cup World Group

April 12th, 2008 - 6:30 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) Former Japanese Davis Cupper Shuzo Matsuoka was livid with the way his two young compatriots failed to clinch five-setters on the opening day of the Asia-Oceania Group 1 tennis tie against India here Friday to lose both the singles matches. At the same time he was all praise for the Indian players. Matsuoka, the first Japanese player to win a title on the ATP tour when he won in Seoul in 1992, said the present Indian squad should do well at the World Group if they make it there.

“India play extremely well in the Davis Cup and at home they are tough to beat. They showed that today. I still give Japan five per cent to come back in the tie as anything can happen in sport. India were in the world group before and if they know how to go about once they are there.”

Matsuoka, who is in Delhi as TV commentator for a Japanese channel,

Masuoka, reached a career high world ranking of 46 in 1992 and reached the quarter finals of the Wimbledon in 1995 before being beaten in four sets by then World no.1 Pete Sampras,

Matsuoka, a proficient player on grass, being a runner up at the Queens Club grass court tournament in 1992 praised the grass court at the Delhi Lawn tennis Association (DLTA), but blamed the Japanese players for losing both the opening singles. While Kei Nishikori went down to Rohan Bopanna 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in two hours and 25 minutes, Go Soeda made Prakah Amritraj sweat to earn his 4-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, 8-6 win over him in the match that lasted over four hours.

“I don’t think that the heat or the grass was an issue. The court was good to play. Our players did not play to their full potential. Kei should have won,” a dejected Matsuoka said.

Matsuoka also spoke highly of the Indians whom he said were mentally superior to the two Japanese players.

“Indian players might not be highly ranked, but in the Davis Cup tie they have shown great mental strength. Our players had the opportunities, but they wasted them. They lacked the spirit and gave up too early. I really impressed the way Bopanna and Amritraj played,” Matsuoka said.

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