Bopanna annoyed by lack of logic in Davis Cup selection

Bopanna pointed out that the selectors had picked the top three singles players apart from Yuki Bhambri, but had ignored him at No. 28 while reposing their faith on Leander Paes, ranked 59.

Rohan Bopanna Leander Paes

The selection committee opted for Leander Paes over higher ranked Rohan Bopanna for the upcoming Davis Cup tie against New Zealand.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Rohan Bopanna, the country’s No.1 doubles tennis player, said that he was baffled by the lack of logic in the Davis Cup team selection for the tie against New Zealand to be played in Pune in February.

Bopanna pointed out that the selectors had picked the top three singles players apart from Yuki Bhambri, but had ignored him at No. 28 while reposing their faith on Leander Paes, ranked 59.

‘’I was asked for my availability and I confirmed it. Then I get to know the team from the media," said Bopanna, who was ranked a career-best No. 3 in the world.

"To brush everyone’s memory, we had three doubles players and one single player when we beat Brazil last time in the World Group. We have got to take the best team," he said.

Quoting reasons by various members of the selection committee, Bopanna said that he was aghast that his own argument was being used against him, six months later, when it suited people. ‘’They say that me and Leander did not play well as a team against the Czech. That is what I had said before the Olympics!,’’ Bopanna pointed out.

Countering the statement that he, in partnership with Saketh Myneni, had not played great against the Kiwis in New Zealand, Bopanna said that the home conditions were different. ‘’First of all, the same New Zealand pair is not coming to Pune. People should remember that me and Saketh have 100 per cent success in home ties so far,’’ Bopanna argued.

Exposing the ignorance of people making the decision, Bopanna stressed that he was one of the few players in the world who have won various levels of ATP events right up to the top, playing both the deuce and ad courts.

‘’Don’t say that I am an ad court player without knowing my record," Bopanna fumed.

He was categorical in arguing that winning one set against Spain cannot be used as a valid reason for picking up a team six months later. ‘’I am not saying that you pick me. I just want logic and a fair selection, which will put the best team at that moment. Everyone is being fooled with some stupid points, which only exposes the ignorance of people,’’ he said.

Explaining in detail that he was injured playing mixed doubles at the U.S. Open and genuinely needed rest to recover, Bopanna clarified that he had six more events lined up for the season when he withdrew from the last Davis Cup tie against Spain in September.

‘’I called captain Anand Amritraj and explained things to him at that time. I got two weeks to recover by not playing Davis Cup, before going to China," Bopanna, who has been playing Davis Cup from 2002, said.

Bopanna also questioned the sudden shrink in the team from six to five for home ties, saying that the captain should have six players before he finalises the playing four, at least for home ties, as had been agreed by the All India Tennis Associaiton (AITA) and practised for some time.