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Karti lashes out at the absentees

Calcutta: The All India Tennis Association vice-president Karti Chidambaram lashed out at India’s current Davis Cuppers for skipping the National Grasscourt Championships, which began at the South Club, here on Monday.

Karti had strong words, especially for the squad that was handed a humiliating 1-4 defeat Davis Cup by South Korea. “It’s extremely disturbing to see no Davis Cuppers in this national meet. Players who haven’t won a National should at least have an urge of playing in it,” he said. Karti was the chief guest for the opening ceremony.

“I feel all the five players — barring Leander (Paes), of course, since he belongs to a different level altogether — who were there in the Davis Cup squad against South Korea should’ve participated in this competition.”

Two wildcard slo-ts were kept for VM Ranjeet and Vijayant Malik, but both decided to withdraw.Recalling the fiasco surrounding the AITA and rebel players before both parties called for a truce, Karti said the AITA should be held responsible for the all the wrongs in Indian tennis. “Blame lies with the AITA. These players — Yuki (Bhambri), Vishnu Vardhan and Somdev (Dev Varman) are still young. The onus was on the AITA to show maturity and look for a solution.

“Had the issue been sorted out earlier, I’m sure we would’ve beaten South Korea. We wouldn’t have to wait for the tie against Indonesia. Results could’ve been far better in the previous game itself.”