He had travelled for three days around the world, from the US, to reach the Davis Cup venue, but there was no trace of it as Tsung-Hua Yang, the Chinese Taipei No. 1 player, served a warning in all humility with his attractive all-round game, in a long drawn practice session on the show-court of the Indore Tennis Club here on Wednesday.
The Koreans, with only Ti Chen and captian Tai-Wei Liu training till this morning, roared into full strength with the arrival of the other three players, including two doubles specialists along with Yang, and naturally worked out considerable sweat long after the sun had set. “'I am happy to be here. It always feels great to play Davis cup”, said the 22-year-old Yang, a former World No. 1 junior, who has reached a career-best rank of 164 in 2012 in the professional circuit.
Ferocity and grace
There was a lot of activity at the venue, but everyone stopped for a moment to have a look at the high quality game of the strongly-built Yang as he pounded the ball with ferocity and grace, not to forget the perfection in everything he did.
“'I like the court here, and the ball is what they had used at the Australian Open a week ago. It looks good”, said Yang.
The Taipei lad said that he was happy with his current form as he had made the Challenger final in Hawaii, and had made the final round of the singles qualifying event at the Australian Open.
“I was happy, but one more step would have made me happier in Melbourne”, said Yang.
Showing respect for Yuki Bhambri whom he would play on the opening day in the Asia-Oceania group ‘I’ match, Yang said that he was looking forward to the tie as he had known the Indian lad, himself a former World No. 1 junior, for long, on and off the court, even though there had never been a match between the two. “We will just try to do our best and show everyone the game we have”, said Yang.
He recalled seeing Somdev Devvarman beating the Taipei No. 1 Yen-Hsun Lu back home in Kaohsiung in 2009, and said that he had a lot of respect for the Indian No. 1 player.
“Somdev is a top-100 player and is going to be tough to play in India as the team will be keen to beat us. We just have to try out best”, said Yang.
Conceding that the Taipei team was obviously depleted in the absence of Yen-Hsun Lu and Jimmy Wang, Yang pointed out that the game had to go on. “They are our two best players. They have their schedule. We can’t stop just because they are not playing. We have to carry on”, said Yang.
Admitting that the Indians had better ranking apart from home advantage, Yang stressed that the first day would hold the key to the course of the match.
“It is important for us to play our best on the first day. You can never say in a game of tennis. We have a chance”, he said.
If anything, Yang holds the key to the tie, and the ability to light it up as a lively contest.