Former Indian tennis star Ramesh Krishnan feels that the pandemic has hit the country's progress in the sport and it can only go up from here.
Sumit Nagal is India's highest-ranked player at 366 currently. Earlier this year, India lost to Denmark 2-3 to be relegated to Davis Cup World Group II for the first time since the new format was launched in 2019.
"A lot of competitors have moved to Europe, but that is something we have to live up with. The pandemic also has hit India quite badly," the former Wimbledon quarterfinalist said during the launch of Jaidip Mukerjea's autobiography 'Crosscourt'.
"I hope it starts moving up now. We only can go up from here. The quality of tournaments has come down in India." Former India No.1 Somdev Devvarman feels the key is to bring quality tournaments back to the country. "We have hit rock bottom in many ways. Hopefully, tournaments will bring tennis back to its glory days."
"It's not just about one or two things. The entire puzzle needs to fall into place. Hopefully, we have better days in the future," Somdev said. The book was launched on Mukerjea's 81st birthday. Mukerjea, who dominated the country's tennis circuit alongside Ramanathan Krishnan and Premjit Lall in the 1960s, recalled his early memories and delved into the triumphs and disappointments of his career in the book.
The former Davis Cup captain recalled how he brought together India's most successful pair of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, who went on to win three Grand Slams and 25 ATP Tours and rose to World No. 1.
Mukerjea said: "We had a Davis Cup training camp here (in 1994). Bhupathi was not on the team, but he was very promising. "I had the decision to make to put him in the team. third or fourth members Zeeshan Ali and Mahesh Bhupathi. I took a gamble."
"I put Mahesh instead of Zeeshan who was higher ranked at that time. All hell broke loose, everyone including (former president) RK Khanna asked if I was doing the right thing. "That's how the 'Indian Express' journey started. I am sure if they played a little more together they would have won more Grand Slams together," he signed off.