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  Sports   Tennis  03 Apr 2017  Losing Yuki a big blow, says Mahesh Bhupathi

Losing Yuki a big blow, says Mahesh Bhupathi

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Apr 3, 2017, 1:43 am IST
Updated : Apr 3, 2017, 6:43 am IST

Bhambri pulled out of the tie citing knee injury giving a selection headache & more trouble for newly appointed non-playing captain Bhupathi

Mahesh Bhupathi (Photo: AFP)
 Mahesh Bhupathi (Photo: AFP)

Bengaluru: India are set to take to the courts come Friday sans their main singles star Yuki Bhambri when they host Uzbekistan in the Davis Cup tie at the KSLTA courts.

Bhambri pulled out of the tie citing knee injury giving a selection headache and more trouble for newly appointed non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi.

“(It’s) not a good start. He is the backbone of our team and has been playing really well this year. We were counting on him being here,” said Bhupathi on Sunday.

“Unfortunately now we have to re-strategise the composition a bit and see how the match-ups play. We haven’t seen (Denis) Istomin here yet. Word is that he is coming either on Tuesday or Wednesday. Just have to see how the boys are handling the practice at the altitude,” said Bhupathi who will be making his debut in the role on Friday.

Both teams have landed in Bengaluru to prepare and the former doubles ace made no secret of the difficulty of the task at hand and stressed that Istomin could play a big part in the result.

“Fewer matches he plays, the better for us,” observed the 42-year-old.

Asked if he would now look for specialist doubles pairing, a.k.a Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna, considering its importance now in the tie, the coach revealed that he will not risk it.

“No, I cannot risk that. Prajnesh (Gunneswaran) and (Sriram) Balaji have never played Davis Cup before, a live match. No five sets. One of them getting sore or injured on Day One, none of my doubles guys can win me a singles match on Day Three. I am pretty sure I don’t want to risk that.”

Tags: mahesh bhupathi, davis cup, yuki bhambri