Indian players battle association over Davis Cup
India’s players and their tennis association are again at odds. Some players battled with the All Indian Tennis Association last summer about Olympic selections, and now eight players have threatened to boycott the country’s Davis Cup tie against South Korea if their demands aren’t met.
Somdev Devvarman, Mahesh Bhupathi, and Rohan Bopanna, along with five others signed a statement against “certain practices observed in the management of the Davis Cup squad” in what they said is an effort to improve Indian tennis.
Leander Paes, one of India’s top players, did not sign the statement.
The players demands include that: 1) The team be comprised of six players to ensure adequate practice partners; 2) The decision-making process for choosing the surface and venue for home ties should involve the participation of all active players; 3) Team management to include a common team physiotherapist and coach; 4) A revised agreement for the distribution of Davis Cup prize money.
AITA has agreed to some of the changes, but not all. On Wednesday it asked the Sports Ministry to add American Prakash Amritraj to the squad, but was denied, as the ministry now has a policy where only Indian citizens are eligible to represent the country.
AITA has given a deadline until Friday to the players to make themselves available for Davis Cup selection.