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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Tennis

Devvarman, two rebels back in Davis Cup squad
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 23, 2013
First Published: 19:41 IST(23/2/2013)
Last Updated: 00:06 IST(24/2/2013)

Somdev Devvarman, Yuki Bhambri and Sanam Singh returned to the Davis Cup squad on Saturday. Part of the rebelling 11, the trio and Leander Paes were named in the squad for the Group I Asia/Oceania first round play-off tie against Indonesia in April.

Youngsters Shriram Balaji (ATP ranking 314) and Vijayant Malik (542) were named reserves. Malik had made his Cup debut in the last tie against South Korea where the hosts were thrashed 1-4.

While Devvarman is still the top-ranked Indian considering his protected ranking (84), Bhambri (257) and Singh (297) are second and third in the ATP rankings.

"We went by rankings," Bharat Oza, the AITA secretary-general, said.

Devvarman recently defeated world No. 39 Benoit Paire of France in an ATP event while Singh thrashed the top Indonesian player, Christopher Rungkat, in a Challenger tournament. Bhambri won both the singles rubbers in the Davis Cup tie against New Zealand last September.

Not Picked
Paes (8) is the sole doubles specialist in the squad. Mahesh Bhupathi (10) and Rohan Bopanna (12) were not considered because the selectors felt it was necessary to include three singles players.

"Paes is the highest ranked Indian so he was automatically in the squad. We don't need two doubles specialists so we chose to include three singles players.

The three chosen also play doubles on the tour.

"Who will play alongside Paes will be decided by the captain," Oza added.

However, it is likely that Singh, who won the Asian Games gold with Devvarman in 2010, will be partnering Paes.

Bhupathi had earlier said that this season would be his last on the tour. With the next Davis Cup tie likely to be scheduled next year, it remains to be seen if he gets the chance to don the national colours again. "We will see when the next tie comes," is what Oza said when asked about Bhupathi.

Farewell Outing
The Bangalore tie will be non-playing captain SP Misra's last. "He has asked to be relieved of his duties and we shall consider it. We will think about his replacement when the next tie approaches," Oza said.

Vece Paes, who was removed from the Davis Cup team for the South Korea tie on the rebelling players' demand, will help in selecting the team physio, the national body has said. During the Korea tie, the new physio was not efficient in handling the situation after Malik had to retire from his match due to cramps.


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