New Delhi: Yuki Bhambri today returned to the Indian Davis Cup squad for the World Group play-off tie against world No 2 side Serbia as the selectors picked an expected six-member squad, to be led by country's top singles player Somdev Devvarman.
Due to a heel injury, Yuki had missed out on the away tie against Korea in Busan, where a 3-1 victory had sealed for India a play-off berth. Experienced Rohan Bopanna along with big serving Saketh Myneni are the other two members while Ramkumar Ramanathan and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan are reserves. It means that Sanam Singh, who had played against Korea, has been dropped for the September 12-14 tie, to be hosted by KSLTA in Bangalore.
The selection panel, led by chairman Anil Dhupar, this time kept rankings in mind as the squad for the Asian Games had created a huge furore. Ranked 391, Sanam Singh was picked for the Asian Games ahead of higher-ranked Jeevan (297) and Ramkumar (305). Tamil Nadu Tennis Association had earlier alleged that the selection panel was biased that is why players from South Zone were ignored.
TNTA Vice President Karti Chidambaram said he was happy that that two players from South were in the squad. "I am pleased. Both Ramkumar and Jeevan deserve this recognition," Karti told PTI. Selection panel member Balram Singh said Mahesh Bhupathi's name was not discussed at all since he has not played for months. Leander Paes has opted not to play in the tie due to personal reasons, so Bopanna and Myneni, who made his Davis Cup debut against Taipei, will do the doubles duty.
Bopanna and Myneni have been unbeaten in the doubles rubbers this year, having won their matches against Chinese Taipei and Korea. Serbia are expected to arrive without world number one Novak Djokovic but still they pose a huge challenge to hosts as they have world number 60 Dusan Lajovic, Filip Krajinovic (110) and Ilija Bozoljac (182) in their ranks apart from multiple Grand Slam winner Nenad Zimonjic.