Paes to miss Davis Cup tie against Japan

September 13th, 2011 - 9:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Davis Cup New Delhi, Sep 13 (IANS) Doubles exponent Leander Paes will miss India’s Davis Cup World Group play-off tie against Japan because of back spasms he suffered during his US Open quarterfinal doubles loss last week.

Paes is still in the US and has intimated All India Tennis Association (AITA) about his decision. India will be playing Japan in Tokyo Sep 16-18.

“I spoke to Leander last night. He is still in pain. He has got an MRI done, the result of which is still awaited,” AITA executive director (development) Ranbir Chauhan told IANS.

“The rest of the squad, including the reserve players — Karan Rastogi and Vishnu Vardhan — has already reached Tokyo. The morale of the team is high and we are hopeful of a good result.”

Paes had also missed the last Davis Cup tie, when India played Serbia in the World Group first round at Novi Sad in March because of a wrist injury. His doubles partner Mahesh Bhupathi, too, had pulled out because of a groin injury.

India, however, are lucky to have Rohan Bopanna who has proved himself to be a potent force in the doubles off late. Bopanna, currently ranked 14th in the doubles, reached the career high ranking of 9 in June this year.

Bopanna, who is also the second singles player for India, is most likely to team up with Bhupathi for the doubles rubber on the second day.

The last time the two paired up was in the Davis Cup play-off against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2009 and had to concede the match in the third set because of an injury to Bhupathi.

Before that, Bopanna and Bhupathi had paired up in the Asia-Oceania group I Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan at the R.K. Khanna Stadium here in 2008. The two combined well and gave India a 2-1 lead in the tie.

India are looking to regain a place in the World Group. Their loss to defending champions and top seed Serbia brought them back to the play-off stage.

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