Sabyasachi Bagchi: Indian Tennis legend Naresh Kumar satisfied to see a “happy” Indian team in the Davis Cup as they get ready to face former Davis Cup champion Italy in the World Group Qualifier from Friday.
“All I want to say is that I’m very happy that the team is together, that’s more important than playing well. That’s the only way to win. Get together and no more fights,” Naresh Kumar told reporters in his address to the Indian team at the official draw ceremony.
The Indian team always in the controversy whenever Leander Paes has been included in the squad. Meanwhile, Paes is the most successful doubles player in the history of Davis Cup. He played a key role in India’s win over China in April.
“Earlier the fighting would continue like a TV soap-opera. It’s good that the team looks happy now, that’s the perfect sign.”
He also hailed Bhupathi’s leadership and added: “You have a good leader (in Bhupathi), he’s got good experience. You guys have talent. You guys have to really go for it this time and I’m wishing you all the best.”
He further said it would be a 50-50 affair and kept the Italians marginally ahead.
“This tie is a 50-50 tie because India are playing on grass. Italians are marginally ahead because of their rankings.”
With Ramkumar Ramanathan playing the first rubber against their seniormost player Andreas Seppi (world number 37), Naresh Kumar urged him to give a positive start.
“The first tie is always crucial. It’s about getting off to a winning start. The big-serving Ramkumar has got the experience,” he said about Ramkumar who made the final of the Newport ATP.