Representing India in Wimbledon is special: Divij Sharan

Divij Sharan and Purav Raja qualified for Wimbledon to enhance the country's representation in the men's doubles event, which will now have five Indians competing.

Updated: June 20, 2013 18:15 IST
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From plying their trade on the ATP Challenger Tour in the last few months to reaching a Grand Slam, it has been a rewarding journey for Divij Sharan and Purav Raja and the duo on Thursday said they won't be easy meat for big teams at Wimbledon.

Divij and Raja on Wednesday qualified for the elite Grass court event to enhance the country's representation in the men's doubles event, which will now have five Indians competing.

Quietly they moved forward in their careers and in the last few months have produced results consistently on the Tour. They won the Kyoto event and ended runners-up in three other events out of four finals this season.

Both of them have played one Davis Cup tie each. That was when India's top stars either rebelled or were punished for indiscipline.

They did not set the court on fire with their performance but both of them, playing within their limitations, were part of the victorious doubles combination.

While Divij played with Vishnu Vardhan against New Zealand in Chandigarh and contributed in the Kiwi whitewash, Raja partnered with legendary Leander Paes against South Korea in New Delhi and gave India the lone win in that tie.

Divij, who is only fourth current Indian player in top-100 in doubles ranking at 91, said playing in his favourite major was a dream come true.

"It was a great experience playing for Indian at the Davis cup ties for the both of us and it will be as special a feeling to be representing India at Wimbledon. It's always been my most favourite Slam so I am really happy to be making a break through here," Divij told PTI from London.

Both of them are confident that the big stage would not get the better of them. When asked about their chances and Raja said they have it in them to beat the top teams.

"Well, I think our mixture of game styles gel well together and make it difficult for our opponents to come up with set patterns to beat us. We also have now figured out a few separate plans based on our strengths from the net to beat top pairs. We are working and practicing together and we get along very well off court too," Raja said.

Divij said their good run in the season and experience of competing against some of the teams, that will be in the draw, on the Tour makes them confident going into the most prestigious tennis tournament of the world.

Apart from making four finals, Divij and Raja also reached four semifinals.

"We have done well against some of the players we have played this year, who are in the main draw at Wimbledon. Also had a good last week making finals at Nottingham. Grass is one of our favourite surfaces and we look forward to giving out best," the left-hander said.

Raja added that they are keen to make this chance count but they would not want to buckle under expectations.

"It's important to capitalise on such opportunities to move forward, and that'll be the plan really without taking any pressure," Raja said adding, "Don't wanna say too much and we will take one match at a time and will try and get the job done for our team and country."

"Above all, we look forward to enjoying the experience and I'm sure that'll help us play our best tennis," added Divij.

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  • Tennis
  • Leander Paes
  • Daniele Bracciali
  • Radek Stepanek
  • Divij Sharan
  • Purav Raja
  • Jonathan Erlich
  • Wimbledon 2013

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