Somdev Devvarman might have led a players' rebellion against the national tennis federation, but AITA has recommended his name for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award for the year 2013.
AITA on Thursday also recommended former player Vijay Amritraj for the Dhyanchand Award, which is India's highest award for lifetime achievement in sports.
Somdev has achieved some great results on the ATP tour as well as in the multi-discipline games for India after turning a pro. He won the singles gold in 2010 Commonwealth Games and gold in both singles and doubles in the Guangzhou Asian Games the same year.
Early this year, through a rebellion he forced AITA to improve playing conditions with regard to the Davis Cup. He also formed a players association (ITPA) along with veterans Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi. His best result on the Tour remains the final appearance in the 2009 Chennai Open.
He reached a career-high rank of 62 in July 2011 but a shoulder injury coupled with poor form led to a slide in the ranking table. He was out of action for about eight months after undergoing a shoulder surgery last January.
Amritraj, with his brother Anand, reached the men's doubles semifinals of Wimbledon in 1976. He twice reached the quarterfinals in men's singles at Wimbledon (1973, 1981) and US Open (1973, 1974). He became a commentator after retirement. Devvarman's first real claim to fame was at the 2009 Chennai Open where he reached the men's singles final.
In 2010, he won the Commonwealth Games gold, following it up with both men's singles and doubles gold at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou.
Meanwhile, current national coach and Olympian Zeeshan Ali and Afro-Asian Games women's doubles gold medallist Rushmi Chakravarthi have been recommended for the Arjuna Award. Veteran coach and former national champion Nandal Bal has been nominated for the Dronacharya Award.
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