Friday, Mar 01, 2002
Front Page |
Southern States |
Other States |
Advts: Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |
NEW DELHI, FEB. 28. The captain has few options, but the biggest challenge would be how well he plays the few cards he has on hand.
In the absence of the country's No. 1 woman tennis player, Nirupama Vaidyanathan, recuperating from a neck trouble in New York, the captain of the Indian Fed Cup team, Enrico Piperno finds himself in an unenviable position.
Manisha Malhotra and Rushmi Chakravarti would obviously figure prominently in the scheme of things. However, the biggest question would be whether the captain be pragmatic to put the reserve player Radhika Tulpule in the four-member squad during the captains' meeting on Sunday in Guangzhou.
It may be difficult for Sonal Phadke and Sheetal Goutham to pull their weight at this level, and may find it hard to support the main cast even in doubles.
With 11 teams to be divided into two groups of five and six, there will be a minimum of four league matches for each country. With two singles and a doubles in each tie, it is going to be a heavy load on the players.
Though the All India Tennis Association (AITA) had decided to send Radhika along with the team in advance, the invitation from the Chinese government for the player concerned could be obtained only on Thursday. The visa for Radhika would be sought on Friday, as the Chinese do not accept visa applications on Thursday. So, there will be some suspense before the team flies out, through Bangkok, in the early hours of Saturday.
``The absence of Nirupama is a big handicap. At the same time, it will be a good opportunity for Rushmi to make a mark. She is maturing as a player. There is no reason why she cannot grab the chance and show the world that she is one of the best in Asia'', said Enrico Piperno, who has been working out with the team for the last few days.
Hong Kong, New Zealand, Philippines and Uzbekistan will be the other teams in the fray. The top two teams will make it to the World Group qualifying event, while the bottom two will be relegated to Asia-Oceania group `II'.
The tournament will be played outdoors on plexipave synthetic courts, and the weather is expected to be pleasant.
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |
Copyright © 2002, The
Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of