Doubles delight for Harsh Mankad

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{image-harsha mankad_05042008.jpg}Chandigarh, Apr 5: Davis Cupper and top seed Rohan Bopanna decided to skip the final against wild card entrant Harsh Mankad due to 'visible inflation' in his knee, in the 10,000 Dollers India F5 Futures ITF Men's Circuit at the CLTA Stadium here today.

Heavy and persistent rain this morning also prevented the start of the final.''I decided to withdraw after consulting my trainer Shayamal Valabjee in US. On his advice not to take risk to aggravate injury before the coming India-Japan Davis Cup tie in the second week of this month, I withdrew from the final after medical consultation. My trainer will be coming to Delhi tomorrow. I am also going to Delhi to prepare for the Davis Cup,'' said Bopanna after the match.

''However, I have achieved my purpose of playing in Chandigarh to warm myself. I played lot of matches, including some tough ones. I got lot of good tennis before the Davis Cup tie,'' said Bopanna.

Regarding Harsh Mankad, Bopanna said ''Harsh is playing very well. I wanted to play against him but I am suffering from a strained knee.'' Mankad, speaking after the prize distribution function said, ''I enjoyed playing matches here. There was a lot of quality play. I am thankful to All India Tennis Association for supporting me with 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 were behind my success. I was suffering from hamstring and at one stage I decided not to take part. Physio Anand not only helped me in overcoming hamstring problem but also strengthed my muscles. He used to come to my room in DLTA and spend nearly two hours daily on my fitness. With excellent facilities available in DLTA, I felt confident,'' said Mankad.

Asked whether he was expecting a call from the AITA to be in Delhi for Davis Cup as a reserve player, Mankad said ''My job is to play. I will be playing ATP Challenger in Korea, week after the Davis Cup.'' Mr S K Arora, Secretary, Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, after distributing the prizes to the winners, said ''The Sports Ministry is moving step by step. The immediate goal is the Beijing Olympics and the next will be 2010 Commonwealth Games and in between the other imporant competitons, like Asian Games.'' With Mankad winning the singles, he completed a double.

Partnering Rupesh Roy, Mankad defated Rohan Gajjar and Purav Raja in the doubles final yesterday. Mankad received 1300 Dollers and 12 points, while Rohan got 900 Dollers and 8 points.


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