Mahesh Bhupathi stresses on singles players winning Davis Cup ties for India
Indian tennis legend Mahesh Bhupathi, who is the non-playing captain of the Davis Cup team to take on Italy in the World Group qualifiers, has high hopes from his singles' players Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan.
"We are not focused on the doubles. We obviously have to win three points to win the match. So singles are as important as the doubles for us," Bhupathi told IANS.
Both Prajnesh and Ramkumar have had a good 2018 and fancy their chances on grass, which was the principal reason Bhupathi chose to play here at the Calcutta South Club.
Against higher-ranked Italians, India is expected to bank heavily on the experienced Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan with the Jakarta Asian Games gold medal-winning Indian doubles pair also winning at the Pune ATP earlier this month.
But Bhupathi stressed if Prajnesh and Ramkumar can "believe in their ability" and rekindle the same form, anything is possible.
"Prajnesh and Ram(Kumar) were successful last year and hopefully they can believe in their ability to beat three players and play good matches on Friday," the 44-year-old multiple doubles' Grand Slam winner said.
Prajnesh, who started 2018 as world no. 243 and ended it as no. 104, won two ATP Challenger titles and also upset now world number 27 Denis Shapovalov on grass at Stuttgart Open last year. He also won men's singles bronze at the Jakarta Asian Games.
Ramkumar, on the other hand, became the first Indian men's singles player since Somdev Devvarman to reach the final of an ATP World Tour event. He eventually finished as the runner-up at ATP 250 Hall of Fame Open on the grass courts of Newport in July.
Bhupathi also spoke on his former partner Leander Paes with whom he does not share a great relationship now, saying the tennis ace has a "big possibility" to be in the mix for Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
Paes, who is a 1996 Olympics bronze medallist, holds the record of being the only tennis player to feature in seven editions of the Games.
"I do believe he still has it in him. I believe that's (2020 Olympics) is a big possibility," Bhupathi said.
IWF removed ban on Commonwealth Gold Medalist Weightlifter Sanjita Chanu
Indian weightlifter Sanjeeeta Chanu, the gold medalist in Commonwealth Games, has received great relief. International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) removed sanjita restrictions on Wednesday The International Weightlifting Federation gave this information to the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) and Sanjita.
IWF lawyer Eva Nyirfa said in a letter: "In resolving the information received on the basis of information received, IWF has decided to remove the temporary suspension of the athlete (Sanjita Chanu)."
It is worth mentioning that Sanjita won a gold medal in 53 kg category of women in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. He was found positive in the 'Anabolic Steroids Testosterone' test. After this, he was temporarily suspended in May last year.
"IWF has decided that the temporary suspension imposed on the Sanjita can be withdrawn on January 22, 2019," IWF's lawyer told in an email sent to Sanjeeeta and the Indian Weightlifting Federation. It said, "The IWF hearing panel will decide on this in the coming time."
Sanjita was found guilty of using steroid testosterone. His Urine sample was taken in the United States before the World Championship in November 2017. They were temporarily banned on 15th May.
The panel of IWF will take a final call on this, but Sanjita said that her innocence has proved. He told the Press Trust, "I have received an international federation email and our national federation has given this information on the phone in the morning. I'm feeling relieved. I am innocent and I have never taken any prohibited substance in my career. '
He said, "I have suffered a lot of mental pain in the last eight-nine months due to the mistake of the international federation. Never be so with any player, because the credibility of the player is very precious. Sanjita said that the Indian Weightlifting Federation has asked him to join the National Camp.
He said, "The federation has asked me to write if I want to come to the national camp. I will do the same. I could not participate in the Asian Games and World Championship. I want to qualify for the Olympics 2020 by playing World Championship this year. "
Actually, IWF had accepted the issue of Sampling in Sanjita Chanu's failed dope test in July, after which the gold medalist of Commonwealth Games had demanded the probe.