Millennium Post

Bhambri, Myneni back; Paes out

New Delhi: India on Monday brought back top singles player Yuki Bhambri, who is playing some of the best tennis of his life, to counter Canada in the Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie while veteran Leander Paes was not considered due to his low ranking.

Also making a comeback to the side was big-serving Saketh Myneni, who is ranked eighth among the Indians in ATP list at number 495 but made the cut. Prajnesh Gunneswaran (220) Sumit Nagal (261), N Sriram Balaji (291), Vishnu Vardhan (410) and Sasi Kumar Mukund (440) are placed above him but Myneni was chosen ahead of the others due to his ability to play both singles and doubles.
Myneni had missed the previous tie against Uzbekistan in Bengaluru due to a foot injury. Yuki, ranked 157, had also missed that April tie and recently made a comeback on the Tour and stunned world number 22 Gael Monfils at the Citi Open. However, Myneni, chosen for Arjuna Award this year, is not going to get a singles match since Ramkumar Ramanathan, who is second-best ranked Indian at number 180 is also playing some of the best tennis of his career.
The Chennai-based player recently got the better of world number eight Dominic Thiem at Antalya Open. Myneni will team up with Rohan Bopanna, who was an automatic choice for the doubles rubber being the highest ranked Indian in ATP doubles chart at number 17. Balaji and Gunnesweran, who both made their Davis Cup debuts in April in Bengaluru, remain in the side as reserves for the September 15-17 tie in Edmonton.
"We look at the rankings but not always," selection committee chairman SP Misra said when asked about reasoning behind Myneni's selection ahead of others. "If you look at the other players above Saketh, most of them, except Balaji, can only play only singles. Saketh can play both. So it made sense to have him in the playing four," Misra added.

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