Brushing aside any speculation regarding his participation in the Davis Cup, Mahesh Bhupathi has revealed that he is available to represent India.
The Indian team plays its Asia-Oceania Group I first round tie from February 1 to 3 against South Korea in Delhi. The squad will be announced on January 11.
Speaking to the media on the opening day of the Aircel ATP Chennai Open, Bhupathi said, “The court case (which challenged AITA’s decision to suspend him) has been stayed months ago and it shouldn’t have an impact on my selection. AITA sent me an e-mail, enquiring about my availability for the South Korea tie, and I confirmed it.”
However, the 12-time Grand Slam title winner did not give an equally forthcoming reply when he was asked to name his preferred teammate for Davis Cup doubles ties. “Unlike the London Olympics, I won’t choose a partner now. Let the squad be announced first,” said Bhupathi.
Speaking on his prospects at the Chennai Open 2013, Bhupathi appeared confident and said that since a lot of teams in this year’s draw are “scratch combinations” (playing together for the first time), his chances of doing well with Daniel Nestor are “as good as anyone else’s.”
“I have made a few changes to my game in the off-season after deciding to change my partner. Since Daniel plays on the ad-court, I’ve worked more on my forehand,” added the 39-year-old.
The five-time Chennai Open champion considers the pairs of Leander Paes & Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Rajeev Ram & Rohan Bopanna as major contenders for the title.