Exclusive: India’s tennis stars hit the courts of Wimbledon, again

first_imgBright sunshine welcomed the Indian tennis contingent at the All England Club where the Olympic hopefuls enjoyed a work out.”Don’t be fooled by this sunshine — this is London. By evening it can again become miserable,” said Mahesh Bhupathi after a long training session.Speaking to Mail Today, Bhupathi, playing in his fourth Olympics, said it was a good workout and he was looking forward to playing with Rohan Bopanna.With tennis selection having made headlines for almost a month in India, the superstars are now busy working the rust off their game. “The atmosphere at the All England Club is so special,” Bhupathi said.Usually, most players stay near Wimbledon during the fortnight-long Grand Slam every year. However, the tennis players are now soaking in the atmosphere at the Games Village.”It’s a sprawling complex and one cannot really feel that over 10,000 athletes have been housed here. The variety of food is very good and it’s nice to see top stars from other sporting disciplines also mingling with everyone,” added Bhupathi.However, he said that closer to the Games, he would move near Wimbledon. “The distance from Stratford to Wimbledon is a lot and I will stay near the tennis facility,” Bhupathi informed.Sania Mirza’s family has also rented an apartment near Wimbledon, though she is currently staying in the Games Village.Meanwhile, wild card Somdev Devvarman, who has been away from competitive tennis for over eight months, said he is looking forward to the challenge at the Olympics.advertisementThe Davis Cup hero is not surprised he has been given a wild card. “I was expecting it,” said Som, as he is popularly known in tennis circles.Reflecting on his shoulder injury, Somdev said, “This is the first time I had such an injury. I had to undergo a major surgery and after rehab I am now fine.”A lot of people have questioned whether Somdev deserved the wild card as he has been away from competitive tennis for so long. India’s number one singles player’s answer to this criticism is simple: “I have been playing tennis for so many years now. I really don’t feel I have been away from the sport.”Reflecting on the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, Somdev said: “After that effort, I was at my peak and played some of the top pros in tennis. I broke into the top-100 and I am sure I will again do well in singles on the ATP Tour.”A big fan of NBA in the United States, Somdev said he is looking forward to meeting some of the basketball giants, as well as sprinter Usain Bolt.last_img

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