Somdev, Prakash will be ideal for Romania tie : Bhupathi

September 11th, 2008 - 11:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) Mahesh Bhupathi is upbeat about India’s chances in Davis Cup World Group play-off against Romania, and says Prakash Amritraj and Somdev Devarman will be ideal for the slow clay courts in Bucharest.”Somdev is an exciting talent. He has amassed quite a few collegiate titles, winning the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship twice. He then went on to win his first Challenger. It is a pretty good showing. He beat Volandri Filippo and also put up a challenge against guys like (Nicolas) Almagro. I feel he and Prakash will be ideal for clay,” Bhupathi said .

He, however, said that a five- member team instead of four would have been better for away tie in Romania.

“We will be playing three singles and two doubles so, in that case a five member team would have been preferable. But then we have no option.”

Asked about his view on stepping down of Leander Paes as a Davis Cup captain, Bhupathi said: “I have been playing Davis Cup from 12 years. Leander has never been an issue. We have had our differences but whenever required, we have come together to play for the country.

“The younger boys had their issues but then Leander stepped down as captain to ensure that India doesn’t suffer in the Davis Cup,” he said..

Bhupathi took time out to interact with younger players as part of Mahesh Bhupathi Team Tennis initiative to promote the game.

“We have 49 centres all over the country and I can vouch by the talent we have here. I met few kids in at Siri Fort and most of them had good fundamentals.

“Fitness is most important. We will be having experts from South Africa , Argentina, Australia to look to ensure the fitness of the players. We have 10-15 full time coaches who are passionate about the game and dedicated to fitness, ” he said.

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