Leander Paes apart, India’s Davis Cup squad stood united in their stance to boycott the Davis Cup fixture against Korea, unless prompt reparation from the All India Tennis Association, unless they heed to the suggestions in their email.
India’s singles linchpin Somdev Devvarman thought the suggestions are reasonable. “I feel our suggestions have been reasonable and have been arrived at based on what we believe we deserve. If the AITA proposes a solution that is agreeable to all the players, I shall play for the country, if asked,” he said. “If, in our opinion, the AITA’s response is unfair, I will stand united with the rest of the players and continue on our pursuit for changes in the system that I believe are necessary for the evolution of the sport and the system of sports administration in the country. My involvement will always be for the greater good of the team and what we believe is best for our team. We will not continue to function with these archaic methods of management,” he said.
Senior compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi felt making these changes wouldn’t be hard for the AITA. “It is refreshing to see the players unite on a common stance. What they are suggesting is improved infrastructure and support to enhance their performance at Davis Cup ties. Tennis is a demanding sport physically and mentally, and these suggestions accommodate those factors. It shouldn’t be a hard decision for the AITA,” he said.
He also complemented the younger players’ desire to change the system. “If Leander (Paes) and I could have been on the same page years ago we would have done the same but the next generation seems to have us back on track now. I admire their desire to improve the state of affairs,” he said.
Youngster Vishnu Vardhan denied the fiasco a revolt. “This is not a ‘revolt’ but a mere discussion between the players and the AITA to reach a common goal of achieving the best Indian Davis Cup Team. A team that is built on merit and professionalism, and on this issue, we stand united,” he said.
Divij Sharan felt it was high time the system changed. “Representing the country at the Davis Cup is an honour for all of us. As players, we are always working towards performing our best on court, and collectively, we believe that some systemic changes are needed to help us in this regard.”