CHANDIGARH, APRIL 5,Heavy rain and ‘visiblke inflamed" knee prevented top seed and Davis Cupper Rohan Bopanna entering the court against wild card and former Davis Cupper Harsh Mankad in the final of the $10,000 India F5 Futures ITF Men’s Circuit at the CLTA Stadium in Sector 10 here today.
The Bopanna’s decision on the advise of his South African physio Shayamal Valabjee from USA is to avoid knee getting aggravated before the crucial Indo-Japan Davis Cup tie slated for next week. Bopanna will be joining Valabjee in New Delhi where Bopanna and other members of the Indian Davis Cup team will practice.
"Though I missed the final, the main purpose of getting some tough matches before the Davis Cup tie has been achieved. Harsh Mankad is playing good tennis and I was eager to play against him. A strained knee prevented me from doing so," said Bopanna, who was confident that he would fully recover from injury before the Davis Cup match.
With Bopanna withdrawing from the final, Harsh Mankad completed a double. In association with Rupesh Roy, Harsh Mankad, the grandson of great cricketer Vinoo Mankad, had defeated Purav Raja and Rohan Gajjar in the doubles final.
”I enjoyed playing tennis here. There was a lot of quality play. I thank the All India Tennis Association for awarding me the wild card and Air India. I am happy the way I played in the ITF Men’s Futures here.” ”Physio Anand Dube and my trainer worked behind the scene in my efforts to win titles. One time II decided not to take part. Physio Anand not only helped me in overcoming injury but also strengthed my muscles,” said Mankad.
On asked whether he is expecting a call for Davis Cup as a reserve player, Mankad said ”My job is to play. Selection if the prerogative of the AITA. I will be going to Korea to play in the ATP Challenger week after the Davis Cup.”
Mr S K Arora, Secretary, Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, distributed the prizes. Speaking on the occasion, he said ”The Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs is moving ahead step by step. Our immediate goal is the Beijing Olympics and the next will be 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games and in between the other imporant competitons, like Asian Games.
Harsh Mankad received $ 1300 and 12 points for singles win. Rohan got $ 900 and 8 points.
Meanwhile, qualifying rounds in the AITA Super Series were played today. The boys under-16 matches have been shifted to Lake Sports Complex as rain upset the schedule.