New Delhi : Somdev Devvarman’s decision to concentrate on ATP tour at the expense of upcoming Asian Games has come under sharp criticism from the All India Tennis Federation, which termed the player’s move as “not correct”.
“It is not a correct decision and a disappointing one. Somdev said the Federation did not ask for his availability before naming the Asian Games squad. We said that since he is country’s number one player, he was expected to play. We said that at least play the team event but he was adamant,” a peeved AITA general secretary Bharat Oza told PTI.
“We tried our best. But what to do, what alternative is there,” Oza sounded helpless.
Somdev will lead India’s challenge in the Davis Cup to be held from September 12-14 in Bangalore and Asian Games is set to begin in five days time after the World Group play-off tie.
“We had discussion with Anand and Zeeshan Ali (coach) and felt we have a chance in team event. We can’t do anything but the government expects the top players to play. We can’t force, we can only request. We even informed him that we will be answerable to the government, which may take objection to it,” Oza said.
Oza, the new Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association President, also said, they cannot think of taking any disciplinary action.
“Tennis is an individual game. They do not play under national federation. We also understand that playing on ATP Tour is their bread and butter. So what can we do? The only thing we have in hand is Davis Cup selection.
Asked if the players were still getting financial help from the government, Oza said: “We present details to the government every year before the budget for helping players, spelling out their travel and coaching requirements but the tennis players have not got anything after 2010 Games,” Oza said.—PTI