The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bopanna promises better showing

Calcutta: It was almost a decade back when Leander Paes took over the mantle of the country’s top Davis Cup singles player. India is yet to unearth another player of the same calibre, though some have seen potential in the lanky Rohan Bopanna.

And the 22-year old from Bangalore is relishing the challenge. “It’s really a great honour to lead the Indian challenge in Davis Cup,” Bopanna told The Telegraph Sunday evening.

This is Bopanna’s third Davis Cup tie and he sounded keen to improve on the 1-2 record. “I will really try to give India a good start to this campaign,” he said.

India are hosting New Zealand in the World Group qualifier at the South Club from Friday. Commenting on the task, Bopanna said: “I haven’t played any of the guys before, but I feel it’s going to be a good game.”

Ranked highest among Indians at 348, Bopanna’s immediate plan is to take the ranking up a few notches. “For that I am playing in a number of Challenger and Futures tournaments,” he said.

After this Davis Cup match, Bopanna will be off to Greece to play in another Futures event. “This year, I have been playing well. I made a couple of doubles finals in the Challenger and that has helped my doubles ranking as well,” Bopanna added.

However, he is in search of a permanent doubles partner. “Now I’m playing with anyone available, but someone permanent will surely be a better option,” he opined.

But currently he has P. Srinath as his travelling coach and that seems to have suited him fine. “It’s been a help and we are working on the finer details.”

He also felt that one aspect he really has to address in near future is his return of service. “It’s such a vital part these days and I’m trying my best to improve it,” Bopanna noted.

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