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Upbeat Bhupathi eyes 2010 Games

sports Updated: Dec 16, 2009 22:34 IST
Moonmoon Ghosh
Moonmoon Ghosh
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Indian tennis players are confident of a positive result in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. “We will be one of the favourites in the tournament,” Mahesh Bhupathi said on Wednesday.

“Playing the Games at home would be unbelievable,” the 35-year-old, here to felicitate the winners of the 2009 Limca Book of Records Quiz, said. “We will have our top players — Sania, Leander and me — with Somdev (Devvarman) also. I am quite hopeful that we can win medals.”

Bhupathi had parted ways with doubles partner Mark Knowles after losing the US Open final in September to Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy. He will partner Max Mirnyi next year, and play the 2010 Chennai Open (January 4-10) with Rohan Bopanna. “I would have loved to start the season with Max at Chennai but since he is not playing in this tournament, so I will partner Rohan,” he said.

Belarussian Mirnyi was Bhupathi’s partner when they won the US Open in 2002. Bhupathi, who has won eleven Grand Slams so far, said, “Hopefully, the partnership will be lucky. We have played together on the Tour before and done extremely well. I am looking forward to it.”

After the inclusion of mixed doubles tennis as an Olympic discipline, Sania Mirza had

stated that India stood a good chance of winning a medal in the 2012 London Olympics. But Bhupathi said he would like to focus on events before it. “London is a long time away. We have the Davis Cup ties against Russia in March and the Commonwealth Games before it. 2010 will be hectic,” he said.

Interestingly, the Indian ace was unable to identify Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

playing golf from a video clip, a question asked during the visual round.

Praising the competitors afterwards, Bhupathi sheepishly admitted, “I was clueless about many questions.”

The team of Aditya Tiwari and Rutuparn Dalvi from Nath Valley School, Aurangabad, won the quiz.