The banner of revolt, led by Mahesh Bhupathi, Rohan Bopanna and Somdev Devvaraman against the All India Tennis Association (AITA) has put some young players in a spot. Their decision to toe the line of the three senior players would also sound a deathknell to their Davis Cup hopes for at least now.
Their absence means other lesser-ranked players, like V M Ranjeet, Vijayant Malik, Purav Raja. Ashwin Vijayaraghavan and Arjun Kadhe, get an unexpected gift to be part of the Davis Cup team.
But for Bhupathi and Bopanna, other players are either young or new to Davis Cup. Players like Yuki Bhambri, Vishnu Vardhan,Sanam Singh, Divij Sharan, Saketh Myneni, Sriram Balaji, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Vijay Sundar Prashanth may have lost a golden opportunity to represent the country. While Bhambri, Vardhan And Sanam Singh have got a chance or two to play in the Davis Cup, others have surely missed the bus. It is doubtful whether these players will get that chance again.
Vasudeva Reddy, a former Davis Cupper, feels sorry for these players. “I think these young players might be making a big mistake by refusing to play in the Davis Cup. Most of these players, except the trio of Mahesh, Rohan and Somdev, play mostly in Futures tournaments. Very few of them get to play in ATP tournaments, leave alone Grand Slam tournaments. Under the circumstances, for these few players, Davis Cup was the best place to showcase their talent. They had a good opportunity to play against top players. I feel sorry for these players,” said Reddy, who played in the eighties.
According to Reddy the issue should have been handled more carefully. “During our playing days, we too were caught in the same dilemma when section of players revolted against the AITA. They wore black badges and played the matches. We took a safe path. We have to safeguard our career. For these young players now, they should have treaded a safety path instead of confronting with AITA.
There should have been a proper guidance to these young players. Their career is surely at the crossroads,” said Reddy, who hoped that the issue would be solved amicably.
Reddy said if Leander Paes, Bhupathi or Bopanna are remembered in India, it is more for their stupendous achievements in Davis Cup. “To win an Olympic medal or Grand Slam tournament is always great, but Davis Cup is always a special moment for any tennis player.”