Vijay Amritraj backs India

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  • Published 29.07.14

New Delhi: Vijay Amritraj wants Novak Djokovic to reach the final of the US Open this year. And that’s not because he is a diehard fan of the Serb. “There is a reason behind that,” said the former star with a smile during a promotional for the WTA finals to be held in Singapore from October 17 to 26.

“If he reaches the final, there is a chance that he won’t come for the Davis Cup tie against India in Bangalore… It will enhance India’s chances against Serbia,” added Vijay with a grin.

While the US Open would be played from August 25 to September 8, the India-Serbia Davis Cup tie is from September 12 to 14.

On a serious note, Vijay said he did not rule out India’s chances against Serbia. “While Djokovic might be unavailable, I believe one of their frontline players is nursing an injury. Moreover, the Indian team is shaping up well… Anand (Amritraj) has proved to be a very good captain. I think India have an outside chance,” he said.

Vijay rued the lack of tennis infrastructure in India except in a few cities. “Singapore is hosting the WTA event because they have created outstanding facilities. The same cannot be said about India, though the country has produced some top players over the years.

“Even a big city like Mumbai cannot boast of having top-class facilities. Of course, there’s good infrastructure in Delhi… Those in Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad are also good. If we can improve on this, then India would also host top tournaments,” he said.

Asked why no world-class player was being produced by India after Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, Vijay said it had been like that for many years. “We don’t have a player in the top eight for 50 years now… We really need to look into it. Nowadays, our players are not trying to win a tournament, but to enter one. We need to have a programme or so for kids that really takes them to the next level.