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Davis Cup: I hope Novak Djokovic doesn't play, says Mahesh Bhupathi

Tennis ace says India can trounce Serbia if World No 2 doesn't play September fixture

India may have drawn heavyweights Serbia in the Davis Cup World Group playoffs, but veteran tennis ace Mahesh Bhupathi believes that India have a healthy chance of winning, come September.

Mahesh Bhupathi poses with a promotional tennis racquet at the CCI yesterday. Pics/Bipin Kokate
Mahesh Bhupathi poses with a promotional tennis racquet at the CCI yesterday. Pics/Bipin Kokate 

"Any opponent is difficult in Davis Cup. But once teams come to India anything is possible, so we are looking (forward) to playing a home tie," Bhupathi said.

The tie, to be played from September 12 to 14, could see Novak Djokovic turning up for the visitors.

Upset possible
"I hope he doesn't play," joked Bhupathi before adding, "It (the tie) is far away. So, we don't know who is playing for them and who is playing for us.

"Ideally, we need to field a full strength team to have a chance to upset one of the powerhouses of tennis. Ideally for us, if Novak doesn't show up, I think life could become easier."

Bhupathi also heaped praise on Somdev Devvarman & Co for their show against Korea.

Bharat Oza
Bharat Oza 

"We have not beaten Korea in Korea before. I have been part of many teams that have been to Korea and have come back disappointed because it is so hard to beat those guys there.

I think Somdev and the boys did amazingly well," he said on the sidelines of an event to launch a new tennis racquet by Wilson.

'Always available'
The 39-year-old also added that he would be available to play against Serbia. "I am always available. I think it is important because the doubles will be pivotal in that match, so let's see how things pan out," he said.

However, All India Tennis Association Secretary General Bharat Oza, who was also present at the promotional event yesterday, believes the Serbia tie would be ideal time to blood youngsters.

"We have youngsters who are performing well. We have Rohan (Bopanna), while Saketh (Myneni) also did very well for us.

"We have to look at the younger crop now, these senior players like Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi are now retiring from the professional circuit too. So, unless it is very necessary, there is no need (for them to play)," he told mid-day yesterday.

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