Defiant Somdev proves a point to 'unethical' AITA

Devvarman is one of 11 rebel players to make themselves unavailable for India's Asia/Oceania Group I tie against South Korea next month. He called the association ‘unprofessional’ and ‘unethical’. The young gun ignored a bitter dispute with the Indian governing body to defeat Germany’s world number 78 Bjorn Phau 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in a commanding performance.

Somdev Devvarman during his first round match yesterday. Pic/AFP

Ranked 84 before shoulder surgery ruined his 2012 season, Devvarman, along with Yuki Bhambri and Sanam Singh, boycotted Davis Cup with eight others after claiming demands made to the All India Tennis Association had not been met.

They included Davis Cup teams being comprised of six players to ensure adequate practice partners, and the decision-making process for choosing the surface and venue for home ties to involve the selected players.

They also want team management to include a physiotherapist and coach and a revised agreement for the distribution of Davis Cup prize money.

The AITA announced last week that Leander Paes, R Virali-Murugesan, V Malik, and P Raja would play against South Korea. “I’ve been enjoying the dispute. It’s the first time in a long time that all the players on the Indian tennis scene, pretty much, are on really good terms with each other. We know we’re trying to do the best thing for ourselves,” Devvarman said.

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