Injured Bhupati pulls out of Indian Davis Cup team

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:28 IST

Grand Slam doubles champion Mahesh Bhupati will miss India's Davis Cup tennis qualifier against Australia next weekend because of a shoulder injury, Indian capt

Injured Bhupati pulls out of Indian Davis Cup team

Adelaide:

Grand Slam doubles champion Mahesh Bhupati will miss India's Davis Cup tennis qualifier against Australia next weekend because of a shoulder injury, Indian captain Ramesh Krishnan said today."We were hopeful that Mahesh would come with us but he's not here so that's a big disappointment," Krishnan said of Bhupati, who has won three grand slam doubles titles this year.A stalwart of Indian Davis Cup teams since 1995, Bhupati is the No 4 ranked doubles player in the world. He has been replaced in the squad by 25-year-old Vishal Uppal.Bhupati's absence depletes an Indian team already under pressure against Australia's strong lineup in the matches beginning Friday at Memorial Drive in Adelaide. The winner will remain in the World Group next year.None of the Indian players is ranked in the top 400 in the world in singles. Lleyton Hewitt, the world's No 1-ranked player, will lead Australia, which lost last year's final to France in Melbourne.Krishnan, who arrived with the team on Sunday, said Australia has a right to be confident."Australia has always been tough, it is a good team and always a bit tougher when they play at home," Krishnan said. "Definitely we have our work cut out for us."India's team includes 22nd-ranked doubles player Leander Paes (singlesranked No 984), Rohan Bopanna (405), Sunil-Kumar Sipaeya (539) and Uppal (755). Hewitt will be joined by Wayne Arthurs (ranked 51st in singles), Scott Draper (141) and doubles specialist Todd Woodbridge (909)."We are very much the underdogs so they (India's players) need to prepare themselves well," Krishnan said after the team's first workout at Memorial Drive."They having nothing to lose so the main thing is to compete hard. Sometimes we have played matches as underdogs and it has worked in our favor, so you never know.'' (AP)



Topics : Tennis
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