India's highest-ranked singles tennis player Somdev Devvarman has pulled out of the 2014 Asian Games to be held in Incheon, South Korea later this month.
Somdev, who won two gold medals in the last edition of the Asian Games in Guangzhou and a singles gold in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, has opted out to concentrate on the ATP professional circuit and thereby improve his ranking on the Tour. (Related: AITA slams Somdev's decision)
However, Somdev is expected to take part in the Indian Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against Serbia in Bangalore from September 12-14. The odds will be stacked against India with Yuki Bhambri, Rohan Bopanna and Saketh Myneni fighting along with Somdev to take the country back into the elite World Group level in the competition. World No.1 Novak Djokovic is likely to turn out for Serbia in Bangalore.
Somdev had slipped to 656 in the ATP rankings following a shoulder surgery in 2012, the same year in which he earned a chance to compete in the London Olympics as a wild card. Last year, Somdev did well to claw back to 90 in the rankings on the back of some surprise wins in major tournaments. He achieved a career-best ranking of 62 in 2011.
In Somdev's absence, the AITA could use reserve players like Divij Sharan, who is a doubles specialist or other top players like Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (ranked 293) and Ramkumar Ramanathan (ranked 298).