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Indian team ready for Fed Cup

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: APRIL 15. The Minister of Education and Tourism, Arvinder Singh Lovely, assured the tennis fraternity of the Capital that the Delhi government would not restrict itself to supporting the Fed Cup Asia-Oceania tournament but would also support talented players.

Addressing a press conference at the R.K. Khanna Stadium here on Thursday, the chairman of the organising committee of the Fed Cup, Mr. Lovely said that Delhi would be a hub of sporting activities in the future as it gets ready to host the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

"We will support the talented people not just in tennis or athletics but in every discipline. We will have a sports policy to encourage budding sports persons," said Mr. Lovely.

The captain of the Indian team, coach Enrico Piperno, was a little disappointed with the uncertainty about Sania Mirza's availability for the match in the light of her ankle injury.

"She would herself decide, to play or not. I would like to have the option of playing her in the tough matches by the end of the week. There is not much depth in Indian tennis. Shikha Uberoi is hitting well. Ankita was a surprise last year. I hope she can come up with flying colours once again," said Piperno.

The U.S.-based Shikha Uberoi has been waiting to represent the country for some time and said that it was a great chance to get a taste of representing India.

Ankita Bhambri said that she was recovering fast from the foot injury she had suffered a week back during an ITF women's tournament in Mumbai, and that the pain had decreased.

The Asia-Oceania group `II' competition will start on April 19, and the group `I' competition will kick off the following day.

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