New Delhi, Jan 12: Ace Indian tennis player Somdev Devvarman on Saturday asserted that their collective refusal to play in Davis Cup does not portray India and its tennis players in bad light and the "revolt is one of the most remarkable things" that has happened in Indian sport. Somdev also said that the young players have been "super unselfish" by joining his initiative as they risked several benefits.
AITA selected a third-string team to play against South Korea as 11 players including Somdev, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, dug their heels and said they will not represent the country unless AITA improves playing conditions. "I completely disagree with that," was Somdev's emphatic reply to PTI from Melbourne when asked if their stance paints a poor picture of Indian tennis and its players.
"If you look at the past, Mahesh has represented India for 15 years and I have been playing for some years now. This is for the first time in Indian tennis in particular, that players have united for what they believe in. It's an incredible thing. Tennis is an individual game and it is not easy to get players together. There is a clear problem, that's why the players have come together. If you look it that way, it's a huge step forward for Indian tennis," he said.
Somdev said in the past the players were scared of raising issues as they would be denied wild cards, funds and benefits by irking the top bosses of AITA. But now the players want things to change for good.
"Our young players have been unselfish. This is incredible to see them all on the same page. They know they are missing out on the chance of playing Davis Cup. But this would not have happened if there was not problem with AITA. "Sacrifice they are making will help the future generations. The sport in general and Indian tennis will move forward," he said.