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Nirupama not in squad

Calcutta, April 5: Nirupama Vaidyanathan has not been included in the Indian squad for the Fed Cup Asia-Oceania Zone 2 engagements in Japan later this year.

Announcing the team Saturday, All India Tennis Association (AITA) secretary Anil Khanna said Nirupama has not considered because the selectors wanted to try out new players.

“It’s not a very tough group, so we decided to give Nirupama a break. Her services are not required this time, though she stays in contention for selection in the future,” Khanna said.

With a WTA rating of 203, Nirupama is the highest-rated Indian player. The team announced is full of youngsters and includes Manisha Malhotra, Sania Mirza, Megha Vakharia and Isha Lakhani.

Promising city youngster Rupesh Roy finds a berth in the Junior Davis Cup (under-16) team, while Ramesh Krishnan’s daughter Gayatri is in the squad for the World Juniors (Under-14).

The AITA also announced the Junior Fed Cup and world juniors (boys) teams. Enrico Piperno stays captain of the Fed Cup team and names of coaches for other teams will be named tomorrow.

india squads

Fed Cup: Manisha Malhotra, Sania Mirza, Megha Vakharia, Isha Lakhani. Reserve: Ankita Bhambri. Junior Davis Cup: Rupesh Roy, Sumit Prakash Gupta, Sanam K. Singh. Reserve: Anshuman Dutta. Junior Fed Cup: Saana Bhambri, Tara Iyer, Kartiki Bhat. Reserve: Madhura Ranganathan. World Juniors (boys): Agnel Gladwin, Arnav Jain, Mesher Vaswani. Reserve: Kaushik Das. World Juniors (girls): E. Ashmita, Gayatri Krishnan. Reserve: V. Pooja Shree.

Boost for India

The AITA secretary informed that India have been named the second best tennis nation of Asia by the continental governing body. “Things like senior, junior, veteran and wheelchair tennis are considered while ranking nations.”

Khanna claimed India would have taken the first place had wheelchair tennis been popular in the country. “Without that, we are ahead of other countries.”

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