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Leander doubtful for Davis Cup

NEW DELHI: The injury to Leander Paes that has put him on crutches and forced him to give a walkover in the second round of the mixed doubles at the ongoing Australian Open has put a question mark over his availability for the Asia-Oceania group ‘I’ Davis Cup tie to be played against Uzbekistan on grass at the R.K. Khanna Stadium here from February 8 to 10.

After hurting himself during the second set in the men’s doubles match against Rohan Bopanna and Rajeev Ram, Leander was unable to take the court along with his partner Agnes Szavay of Hungary against Chia-Jung Chuang of Chinese Taipei and Jonathan Erlich of Israel.

With Mahesh Bhupathi having announced his availability for the Davis Cup ties this season, understandably to meet the eligibility criteria for the Olympic Games, the job of the selectors who meet here on Tuesday would be that much easier.

The good form of Rohan Bopanna, Prakash Amritraj and Somdev Dev Varman, at various levels in recent weeks, hints at the possibility of the selectors naming five players and leaving the tough decisions to skipper Leander.

Vishnu Vardhan and Ashutosh Singh are also likely to be called to be part of the squad. — Special Correspondent

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