Bangalore: The current lot of players are good enough to take India into Davis Cup World Group next year but it requires special talent to be in top-100, yesteryear Indian tennis icon Anand Amritraj said on Saturday. Amritraj said the controversy involving the top Indian players and AITA was unfortunate but hopefully it will end completely so that the country could qualify for the World Group in 2014.
"Hopefully in 2014 we will have a good chance of making into the World Group. Hopefully the controversy is behind us. There has been an agreement between players and federation so I think, things will move forward," he told reporters.
Amritraj said India has good talent in Somdev, Yuki, Vishnu but, "The trouble is they get to 200. But once being in top 100 and then getting into top 50 you need a special level of talent."
"It has always been easy for Indians to excel in doubles because they have good hands, anticipation and other stuff," he added. Amritraj today received Davis Cup Commitment Awards from former union minister and AITA lifetime president Yashwant Sinha here at KSLTA Stadium today.
Amritraj said tennis has changed ever since he played the game in 1970s and 80s with athletes being bigger, stronger and faster now. "The racquets, the balls, and the surface are different now. We used to have three out of four Grand Slams on grass. Now it is just one and rest are hard courts of varying speeds.
It is now a completely a different game," he said. Amritraj said a players must be nimble-footed and have a clam head to excel in modern tennis. "A player should have extremely good feet. He should be able to move like Somdev (Devvarman) and Sanam (Singh) and at higher level like David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal to be able to compete at the top level," he said.
"You got to be 200cms or more and able to serve at 150 miles an hour. So that is the other option. But Indians don't get to six feet eight inches in height and of course you need to have a winner's mentality as well," Amritraj added.
Earlier Ramanathan Krishnan, Ramesh Krishnan, Anand Amritraj and Mahesh Bhupathi were honoured with the Davis Cup Commitment awards by Sinha. Indian non-playing captain S P Misra and Paes were felicitated for their contributions. The criteria for selection for the awards was a player should have competed in a minimum of 20 home or away Davis Cup ties.