Ranchi: Having won the singles title without much fuss on Wednesday, the Asian Games bronze medallist Karan Rastogi got ready for both his doubles semi-finals and the team events here in the ongoing 34th National Games.
After finishing his Games campaign, the Indian Davis Cupper would fly home to Mumbai on Saturday night and the next day morning would be off to Novi Sad (Serbia) via Istanbul to join his teammates Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi, Somdev Devvarman, Rohan Bopanna and Vishnu Vardhan for the Davis Cup World Group first round tie against defending champions Serbia from March 4-6.
“We are used to the hectic travel. We catch up with some sleep during the transit. We are used to it,” Rastogi said after winning the singles title even as an official asked him to get ready for his doubles semifinals.
“That’s the way it is,” he smiled as he packed his bag.
When asked about India’s chances against reigning champions Serbia to be led by world No 3 and Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, Rastogi said, “We have been playing together and we are in good form. There is no reason why we should be worried about. We have always been giant killers.”
Serbia, who won the Davis Cup by beating France, will also have in their ranks world No 18 Viktor Troicki, No 52 Janko Tipseravic and doubles specialist Nenad Zimonjic.
Recalling India’s win over Brazil in the World Group play-off last year where they bounced back from a 0-2 deficit to stun the latter, Rastogi said they would concentrate on working on their skills against Serbia as well.
“We start as underdogs there. It’s difficult and let’s see what happens there. We will be focussed to work on our strengths rather than getting intimidated by the opposition. It’s about keeping our fingers crossed,” said Rastogi, who won the team bronze along with Somdev, Sanam Singh and Vishnu Vardhan at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou last year.
The Mumbaikar made his Davis Cup debut against Kazakhstan in 2007 but with Devvarman and Bopanna getting the nod for the singles, he has have to wait for his turn even as he’s occupied with the Futures and ATP Challenger Series.
His career was interrupted for nearly one-and-a-half years because of back surgery and rehabilitation.