India needs to find a fourth doubles player: Amritraj

Last Updated: Jan 13, 2012, 21:40 PM IST

Mumbai: Stating that India had three great doubles players in Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, tennis great Vijay Amritraj said that the challenge for the country was to find another good doubles player to complement the trio.

He said that India`s top singles player Somdev Devvarman, who has pulled out of the Australian Open due to an injury, would have to get rid of the niggles once and for all if he has to live up to his potential.

"We have got three great players and only two chairs. Rohan suggested that they (Paes-Bhupathi) had together played four Olympics together and had not won a medal and so it was time for change. Lee felt it was important for him to win Grand Slams and he wanted a partner with whom he could win Grand Slams with. Perhaps the time for him and Mahesh to win Grand Slams had passed. Perhaps he was right too. He probably suggested that he wanted a change," Amritraj said.

"It`s hard to say which two of the three are the best. Lee and Mahesh have showed that they are a great pair, Lee and Rohan could have a good pair as are Mahesh and Rohan. The key now is to find a fourth good player to complement the other three," Amritraj said at a promotional event for the ninth edition of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon of which he is the brand ambassador.

The former India Davis Cup captain, who was also the number one player in Asia for 14 years, felt that Devvarman, who is out of action due to a shoulder problem, should analyze his injuries and get rid of them once and for all.

"Unfortunately Somdev is a little injured. So he`s pulled out from the Australian Open. These nagging injuries, you must get rid of it at a young age. Kind of doing a bandage fix, see what kind of injury it is, if surgery is needed get it done. Take 2-3 months off, come back stronger like Rohan did," he said.

Commenting on the newly formed partnership between Bopanna and Bhupathi, Amritraj said he was of the view that Bhupathi should play at the `ad-court` and Bopanna at the `deuce court`.

PTI