Tennis crisis a shame: Anand Amritraj
Mumbai: Former Davis Cupper Anand Amritraj today described the ongoing crisis in Indian tennis following the players` revolt against the AITA a shame and said that both the parties should work out a comprise formula and resolve the issue quickly.
"It`s a shame. They need to resolve it by talking face to face. This whole thing is now a complete impasse. They (AITA) have picked a team. So you stand behind them and wish them best, hope they can get past Korea and then work out where you go from there," Amritraj told reporters on the sidelines of Maharashtra Tennis League, where he will mentor Mumbai team.
Eleven players, including Mahesh Bhupathi, Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna, had revolted demanding better playing conditions from the AITA. AITA accommodated most of them but the players refused to change their stand, insisting that all their demands be met.
The AITA yesterday ignored the revolting players and named a second-string Davis Cup squad that will take on South Korea for the Asia/Oceania Group I tie from February 1 to 3.
Asked if, in his times, the players had a say in decision making, he said, "In 70s, when Vijay and I, we played in singles and doubles, we used have a large say in the decision making, not the composition of the team.
"Vijay (Amritraj) was captain, Ramesh (Krishnan) was there. We got along fine and beautifully. We got along well with federation. It always went quite smoothly. There is no reason why it shouldn`t go along the same way now. I wish the team best and hope they can get through this round," he said.
"Everybody needs to move forward. Compromise and move forward. It seems to be complicated in Indian tennis, no question about that. But it is happening in cricket, football, hockey. But we always seem to have a few issues here or there. I am sure they will work it out," he said.
Asked if the second-string players have enough firepower to beat Korea, he said, "I don`t know about Korean players. Their top ranked player is 350 or 360. Hopefully they (India) will win. For this match (Davis Cup) I wish everybody good luck and hope for the best. Let`s hope the Koreans are not that good.
On the current crop of players, he said, "They have good potential. In future they will all be good players. How far they get is the question.
"Sanam (Singh) needs to have more weapons. He is a very solid groundstroker. He needs to be able to have a transition game and have slightly bigger weapons. He is like Somdev (Devvarman), very quick on the feet. He has good future. Vishnu (Vardhan) has a lot of power, with big serve. It is a different thing that he has to work on. He has to work on speed around the court. But I have not watched them play enough," he added.
On his nephew Prakash Amritraj, he said, "He is more matured now. Last two years he hasn`t played. Now he has come back and his focus is back. His game has got better. His main problem is injuries, if he can remain injury-free, he can get back to his best ranking, which was 153. I think he will definitely get there."
Amritraj said both Prakash and Somdev can be in top 100 in ATP rankings.
"If you ask me if they are going to be in top 10, I have my doubts about that. Even in top 50 is going to be tough. Realistically, they can be in top 100 and that is what we need right now."