Country should always come first: Vijay Amritraj
Indore: Legendary Vijay Amritraj feels that playing for the national flag is an ultimate honour for any player and Davis Cup should always remain a priority for any professional tennis player.
"Davis Cup should be above all the problems. If a player is injured and having personal problems, it is ok but when you are fit and ready and you get a chance to play for the country, one should play. There are only four weeks of Davis Cup in a year. You can do whatever you want in the rest of 48 weeks," Amritraj, who played 42 Davis Cup ties in his 18-year career, said.
He was presented with a memento by AITA before the doubles rubber was played against Chinese Taipei.
Leander Paes skipped the national duty this year because of the family reasons and also because he felt that he was being sandwiched between AITA and a faction of players.
Also, 11 top players of the country boycotted India`s tie against Korea last year as they were not happy with the way game was being run by the national federation.
Vijay said he "still gets goose bumps when he sees the Indian tri-colour and when the national anthem is played irrespective of the the country where it is played."
"It`s great honour to receive this award. Davis Cup and Wimbledon are very special. Davis Cup is one event where individual players come together as a team. There was incredible unity in our team."
Vijay said his brother Anand was best suited for Indian team`s captainship.
"Today watching these youngsters, who have Anand as captain, this team has a great future. Anand is very knowledgeable. He`s incredible in his inputs and strategies. His experience is unmatched. They just need to pick his brains. Anand is the best candidate for the job."
Vijay said the Indian team led by Somdev and Yuki Bhambri and can carry the Indian team to the World Group.
"Both these guys can be in top-100. Others can also move fast. You need to have guys in 150`s so that they can push each other. It should not be that one guy is far ahead and others are just chasing.
"We can get to the World Group. The boys are good enough. Yuki played well against (world number 16) Fabio Fognini (during Chennai open). Those kind of matches give you confidence. He is getting into his prime. He is physically strong. Saketh can also do the same.
"Somdev and Rohan are experienced and their game cannot be changed at this time but Ramkumar (Ramanathan) is young and his game can be changed (for better)," he said.