Hewitt blasts AITA secretary Khanna
All India Tennis Association secretary, Anil Khanna’s habit of going off on a tangent in press conferences has once again landed him in trouble. And this time he’ll have to contend with the fiery Australian Lleyton Hewitt.sports Updated: Apr 22, 2009 01:49 IST
All India Tennis Association secretary, Anil Khanna’s habit of going off on a tangent in press conferences has once again landed him in trouble. And this time he’ll have to contend with the fiery Australian Lleyton Hewitt.
Khanna, on Saturday, was quoted by PTI saying that Hewitt was unlikely to come to India for the third round Davis Cup Tie in Chennai from May 8-10. “Lleyton Hewitt is unlikely come with the team. Lleyton is said to have withdrawn since he is presently involved in the clay court season. They might even send a second string team but we are ready to face whatever the team that they name for the match.”
The Australian No.1 has reacted strongly to this, saying the AITA secretary “should be assured of his facts before speaking with the press.”
In a statement issued on his website, Hewitt’s manager David Drysdale said, “Neither Lleyton or myself have said any such thing, nor have either of us had any contact with Mr Khanna.”
He added: “I would point out to the Indian spokesperson that perhaps he should refer to Lleyton’s record of commitment to Davis Cup and he would see that Lleyton has always placed playing for his country ahead of his own individual tournament play.
“Lleyton has been committed to playing this tie since it was announced and certainly has not placed any claycourt plans ahead of his participation. Perhaps it is all just wishful thinking from Mr Khanna that Lleyton would withdraw from the team, and I would suggest he be assured of his facts before speaking with the press.”
Meanwhile, Tennis Australia filed an appeal against International Tennis Federation’s decision to approve Chennai as the venue for next month’s India-Australia Davis Cup tie on Tuesday.
“The ITF will take a look at the appeal alongside the original security report and other information,” ITF communications officer Nick Imison told HT. They are expected to arrive at a decision by the end of this week.
Tennis Australia had expressed concern over the security situation in India, especially considering that the tie will be held during the general elections.