New Delhi: Former player Anand Amritraj, who was appointed Davis Cup captain last month, today stressed on the importance of developing a good second singles player who can ease the pressure on India`s top player Somdev Devvarman.
"We always had great doubles players but singles is our problem. Somdev in the top-100 but we need to have a player who is in top 150-200. A second singles player is important for us to make the World Group. Otherwise, Somdev will be under a lot of pressure," Amritraj told reporters at the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association (DLTA) Complex here.
"We have some good young players. I met them during Maharashtra Tennis League in January, so I know who I`ll be working with.
"They are ranked around 250-300 but they need to improve their ranking by another 100-spot, which is not inconceivable. Players such as Sanam Singh or Yuki Bhambri are definitely top-200 players," said Amritraj, whose first assignment will be the Jan 31-Feb 2 Asia/Oceania First Round tie.
Amritraj, who was appointed last month, heaped praise on Somdev and Leander Paes.
The Commonwealth Games gold medalist was recently nominated for the ATP Comeback Player of the Year award along with World No.1 Rafael Nadal, Spaniard Tommy Robredo and Russian Dmitry Tursonov after rising from 664 to 90 in the world rankings in a span of 10 months.
"It is amazing to see him jump from 664 to 90. That`s why he is one of the nominees for the comeback player of the year award. It is like being nominated for the Oscars and Somdev is deserving of that award," Amritraj said.
Regarding Paes, the 61-year-old former player said: "Somebody told me that Leander wants to play till 2016 Rio Olympics, which would make him 43-years-old. It is amazing what he can do, what he does," he added.
He (Major Dhyan Chand) is inspiration personified. He became synonymous with hockey. He became the parameter of hockey by which other player's calibre is measured.
Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal