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Millennium Post

Left out in the cold!

South Korea took both the reverse singles to complete a 4-1 victory over depleted India in the Asia-Oceania group one first round Davis Cup tie in New Delhi on Sunday.

Jeong Suk-Young gave the Koreans an unbeatable 3-1 lead by outplaying Virali-Murugesan Ranjeet 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in the day’s first match.

Nam Ji-Sung beat Vijayant Malik, the other Indian debutant, 6-2, 6-4 in the inconsequential fifth rubber that was reduced to best-of-three sets. South Korea will now meet Japan in the second round in April, with the winner qualifying for the world group play-offs later in the year.

India play Indonesia, also in April, to remain in the regional group one. India went into the tie with veteran Leander Paes as the only first-choice player after 11 team-mates refused to play following a dispute with the All India Tennis Association.

Somdev Devvarman, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna were among the players who stayed away, leaving newcomers Ranjeet and Malik as the two singles players. India’s lone point in the tie had come through the doubles team of Paes and unheralded Purav Raja on Saturday.


RANJEET, MALIK LOOK FOR POSITIVES


India’s young tennis players Virali Murugesan Ranjeet and Vijayant Malik took positives from their Davis Cup defeats against South Korea, stating the experience will stand in good stead when they next play for the country. Ranjeet said he played well by his standards but that doesn’t mean that he played badly Friday in the first singles. “Today I really felt good. I was hitting the ball well. I also played well by my standards on Friday, but my opposition was too good. Today I fought till the last point,” said Ranjeet. Malik, who went down 2-6, 4-6 in the fifth dead rubber to Ji Sung Nam, concurred with his team mate and said that the experience will help him when he next plays for India. “It has been a great experience for me. If I get more such opportunities, I will only get better and do good for the country,” said Malik. Shiv Prakash Misra, non-playing Davis Cup captain, hoped that the stand-off between the top players and the (AITA) would be sorted out soon.


AITA FORMS THREE-MEMBER COMMITTEE


The AITA on Sunday formed a three-member committee, including Justice Deepak Verma and former Davis Cupper Naresh Kumar, to resolve the issues with the rebel players, but its suggestions apparently would not be binding on the national tennis federation. Apart from Verma, a former justice of Supreme court, and Kumar, the committee has retired bureaucrat M C Gupta as the third member. The decision to appoint the committee was taken at the All India Tennis Association Executive Committee meeting here. Asked what was the need of forming the committee when the players just wanted an assurance in writing, AITA CEO Hironmoy Chatterjee said they wanted a certain process to the end. ‘This policy of blackmailing has been going on for long. The availability came with pre-conditions and we do not appreciate that. We want to stop it. It is a neutral committee and I am hopeful that the suggestions it would make would be acceptable to both parties.’
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