Soon India will have a Slam winner: Bopanna | sports | Hindustan Times
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Soon India will have a Slam winner: Bopanna

sports Updated: Aug 01, 2010 15:52 IST

PTI
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After an unprecedented five Indian tennis players competed at this year's Wimbledon men's doubles event, Rohan Bopanna says the day is not far when the country gets its first Grand Slam winner from the younger crop of players.

Apart from seasoned pros Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, Bopanna himself, Somdev Devvarman and Harsh Mankad competed at this year's Wimbledon.

Paes and Bhupathi have 22 Grand Slam titles between them and they are the only Slam winners from India in men's
circuit.

"To have so many players from India competing at the highest level is a real boost for the sport. It shows how we
have grown over the past decade and that there is no dearth of talent in the country. Hopefully sooner rather than later we will win a Slam title," Bopanna told PTI.

The lanky Karnataka player is also confident of taking the doubles load in the Davis Cup in case both Paes and
Bhupathi are not there.

"I am always ready to perform for the country at the highest level and take up doubles responsibilities at the
Davis cup. However, I can't identify my partner as yet," he said.

Bopanna's optimism comes from his improved show on the doubles circuit, where he is ranked 35 in the world.

He, together with Pakistan's Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, reached the first ever Grand Slam quarter-finals at the
Wimbledon.

Before that, they won an ATP 250 event in Johannesburg and ended runners-up in France and Morocco apart from winning
a Challenger tournament in Jersey and making the finals of the Italy event.

Hence, they, as a team, are ranked 15 in the world.

The Coorgi says he and Qureshi did not expect to reach that stage of the Wimbledon.

"In all honesty, I would have to confess that, we were not well prepared. Though grass courts are our favorite
surface, we had not played a grass court tournament for quite a while leading up to Wimbledon.

"However, we do play well as a team, have confidence in each others abilities and that teamwork coupled with a lot of hard work during Wimbledon carried us through," he said.