The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Paes praise for Bopanna

New Delhi: Rohan Bopanna’s chances of playing singles in the Davis Cup tie against Japan received a big boost after the youngster received rave reviews from five-time Grand Slam doubles champion Leander Paes.

“He is a much improved player. He has come up leaps and bounds since I saw him last in the tie against Australia last year,” senior pro said as the squad geared up for the Asia-Oceania group I opening round tie from Friday to Sunday.

Bopanna made his Cup debut in September, going down to Scott Draper in straight sets in a dead rubber of the World Group play-off tie in Adelaide.

But since then, Bopanna has reached the final of the Asian championship in Tashkent where he lost to Goichi Motomura — one of his likely opponents over the weekend.

The 22-year old then followed it up with the scalp of Korean Lee Hyung-taik, who recently captured the Auckland ATP crown, defeating Spaniard hotshot Jun Carlos Ferrero in the final.

It was at the NSCI that Paes scripted one of his several big wins — against big-serving Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia in 1995. “These grasscourts (at the NSCI) will always provide me with happy memories,” Paes said.

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