Chennai, Jan 3 (IANS) Indian tennis veteran Mahesh Bhupathi asserted that playing from the deuce court would not pose much of a problem for him while partnering Rohan Bopanna and with more practice the pair would be ready for the challenges ahead.
Bhupathi, like Bopanna, has always played from the ad court (left hand side), and though he admitted to some ‘teething problems’ in getting used to playing on the right side, he was confident that compatibility would not be an issue.
‘I am playing the right side. It is obviously different to me. I had played on the other side throughout my career. We have taken this decision a month ago. We have been practicing accordingly since last month. I feel that I belong on to the right hand side now,’ said Bhupathi at a media interaction here Tuesday on the sidelines of the Aircel Chennai Open where he and Bopanna are set to play.
The two came together after Bhupathi split with his long-time partner Leander Paes to join hands with Bopanna with an eye to the London Olympics in July-August this year.
‘Tomorrow is going to be our first match together. We practiced pretty hard in December. Whatever the teething issues there are, we will be working on them, but since we have not played a match yet, I do not know we can really notice anything.’
‘It is a new partnership with Rohan. It happens on a yearly basis for me. I have played with six different partners during the last five years. It is nothing new for me,’ Bhupathi said.
‘I have been successful with all the partners that I have played. Rohan is a top-10 (doubles) player and he has proved that he can play at the highest levels during the last two years.’
‘I not doubt and the fact is we are going to gel well and how quickly we will gel is a matter that is up to us,’ said Bhupathi who added that at this point in time the focus was on immediate future and not so much on the Olympics.
‘We are playing on the tour. That is the focus here. We are at Chennai Open, and Olympics is seven months away and Davis Cup is three and a half months away,’ said Bhupathi.
On his part, Bopanna said: ‘As Mahesh said we really need to play a few matches to see what works best for us. Then only I can tell you as to how we combine well.’
When asked about the possibility of pairing up with Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles at the Olympics, Bopanna said: ‘It is still a possibility. Olympics is long way to go. We are yet to qualify for it.’
‘Sania is playing in lot of singles and doubles. Rankings are involved in that. As far as I know, you cannot just go to Olympics only for mixed doubles. You have to be part of singles or doubles teams. But if I get a chance, then why not?’