Leander Paes is all set to play for India once again in their Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-1 tie against China on April 6th and 7th in Tianjin, China.
India's Davis Cup team selection had become an uphill task for the selection committee for quite some time. The All India Tennis Association (AITA) Executive Committee met on Saturday and stood their ground for selecting 'the best team irrespective of reservations'.
The top three Singles players for India in terms of rankings and recent form are Yuki Bhambri, Ramkumar Ramanathan, and Sumit Nagal and there was no second thought in terms of their selection. While for Doubles, the non-playing captain of India’s Davis Cup team, Mahesh Bhupathi sees Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes as India’s best possible bet for the upcoming tie.
With New Zealand losing to China last month in their Davis Cup tie and India having lost their Doubles match against Canada in September last year, the selection committee is not taking any chances this time around and want to ensure a win against China as their top priority. Another top Doubles player, Divij Sharan was named as a reserve player by the AITA. Purav Raja who was part of India's Doubles team in September last year didn't make it to the squad this time around.
Leander Paes will surpass Italy’s Nicola Pietrangeli and create a new world record if he manages his 43rd Davis Cup win against China. “It is always an honour to play for India. I respect Rohan’s talent and am looking forward to playing with him against the Chinese. I am looking forward to wearing the Blue again’’, said the 44-year old Paes.