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‘Bhambri’s doing a decent job’

Calcutta: The ongoing ATP Challenger Tour, here, at the BTA courts, may not be having very popular names barring Somdev Dev Varman and Yuki Bhambri.

However, on the coaches’ front, it comprises a name that even a decade ago promised to make it big in the world of tennis. Davide Sanguinetti, who had won a couple of ATP titles, beating Roger Federer and Andy Roddick in the finals back in 2002, and was ranked 42 in the world till December 2005, is here as coach of Japan’s Go Soeda.

Sanguinetti, arguably, is the most high-profile name in this tournament. It’s not Sanguinetti’s first visit to India. He managed to reach the last-eight stage of the Chennai Open back in 2007 before losing to Rafael Nadal.

During that period, Indian tennis still pretty much revolved around Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi. But at present, Somdev and Yuki do have the ability to turn India into a powerhouse at least in the Davis Cup, Sanguinetti opined.

“I can’t predict how far Bhambri will go in the long run. But at the moment, he’s doing a decent job. If you ask me, I’ll say he has it in him to be one of the top players.

“As for Somdev, he has already been among the top 100. It’s just that shoulder injury which hampered his prospects. But now that he has made a comeback, I back him to go the distance.

“If Yuki and Somdev can remain consistent, India will be a major force in the Davis Cup. Against Korea (in their next tie), I feel India are the favourites. India are a better side,” the 41-year-old said on Monday.

Moving on to Federer, the Italian feels the former world No. 1 could have won the Australian Open had Nadal not been in his way. “Roger had an excellent chance to win it. But whenever he sees Nadal before him, he gets affected mentally. It has happened time and again with him,” Sanguinetti opined.