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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mahesh Bhupathi aims for Slam No. 11

No marks for guessing how the children (budding tennis players) reacted when someone like Mahesh Bhupathi was on the court playing against them turn by turn.

Matching the multiple Grand Slam winner shot for shot was a dream-come-true for trainees of Priyadarshini Park & Sports Complex.

Besides his professional commitment, Bhupathi, however, took time out to throw some light on the overall tennis scenario of the country.

When asked as to what motivates him even after winning 10 Grand Slams at the age of 34, Bhupathi said, “I just enjoy playing tennis and that’s all.

“Actually I wanted 11 (Grand Slams) when I started and so there’s still one more to go and that is my target,” Bhupathi said.

Asked who is going to carry forward his and Leander Paes’ legacy, he looked irritated. “I have been answering this question since last 12 years…Can’t you see Sania (Mirza),” was his answer.

When reminded about Sania’s woeful performance in recent time, Bhupathi said that injury had taken a heavy toll of the Hyderabad girl. “She will be back on court with a bang in the coming season,” Bhupathi said.

The Bangalorean picked Somdev Devvarman as the man for future. “Somdev is good. Apart from being a great prospect, the best part is that he has the financial backing,” he felt about Somdev.

Bhupathi wasn’t too excited about the talk of Asian Tour in tennis. “I don’t know the fallout of such a measure. If there is a point to it, then this is a great idea otherwise it’s not,” said the 14-year-old tennis pro.

Bhupathi may not have any immediate retirement plans, but if he gets the coveted 11th Grand Slam in the Melbourne Park early in 2009, who knows what next?

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