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MELBOURNE: A defiant Somdev Devvarman proved yesterday the Indian Davis Cup team will be poorer for his absence as he surged into the second round of the Australian Open.
Devvarman is one of 11 rebel players to make themselves unavailable for India’s Asia/Oceania Group I tie against South Korea.
He ignored a bitter dispute with the Indian governing body to defeat Germany’s world number 78 Bjorn Phau 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in a commanding performance.
Devvarman, along with Yuki Bhambri and Sanam Singh, boycotted Davis Cup with eight others after claiming demands made to the All India Tennis Association had not been met.
They included Davis Cup teams to ensure adequate practice partners, and the decision-making process for choosing the surface and venue for home ties to involve the selected players.
They also want team management to include a physiotherapist and coach and a revised agreement for the distribution of Davis Cup prize money.
“I’ve been enjoying the dispute, speaking honestly. It’s the first time in a long time that all the players on the Indian tennis scene, pretty much, are on really good terms with each other,” he said.
“As far as the players are concerned, we know we’re trying to do the best thing for ourselves and our country and give future players the best conditions. It’s challenging but it’s a good time and it’s not playing with my mind at all. It’s great, actually.” he added yesterday. AFP