Little more practice could have increased victory margin: Paes

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New Delhi, Apr 13 (UNI) Captain Leander Paes said a little more practice in the singles could have broadened the victory margin for India in the Asia Oceania second round tie here today.

''I really enjoyed my outing today. If I would have had little more singles practice, I could have pulled off the match. I took my chances throughout the match and that helped me to take the match into the third set,'' Paes told mediapersons after his loss to Iwabuchi.

While Paes lost to Iwabuchi, His doubles' partner Mahesh Bhupathi too was handed a straight sets defeat by Japan's hisghest ranked player Kei Nishikori.

However, the captain was all praise for his opponents and said it was not easy for the Japanese players to make a comeback in today's matches after being 0-3 down.

''Both the Japanese players came hard and fought knowing that the tie is already finished for them,'' Paes said.

India's Rohan Bopanna and Prakash Amritraj, who gave India a perfect start on the opening day defeating Nishikori and Go Soeda respectively, were to play today but injuries to both of them forced Paes and Bhupathi to step in for today's tie.

Although, today's matches were inconsequential, Paes said he did not want to set a bad example by conceding today's matches without playing and it was this reason that forced him and Bhupathi to play today.

''The boys (Amritraj and Bopanna) were not fit, so they didn't play,'' Paes said. ''Davis Cup is not just about players. We have to think about a whole lot of things, including the respect of the visiting team, the sponsors, fans etc.'' ''We players will come and go but Indian Davis Cup team will always be there,'' he added.

He also complemented his doubles partner Bhupathi for coming forward to play today and added that Prakash and Bopanna did make the task easy for India after putting India in the lead on the very first day.

Meanwhile, Bhupathi accepted that he was feeling the heat and was getting tired as well but still he complemented Nishikori for his effort.

''First set was fun but my body gave up in second set. I too was short of match practice in singles,'' Bhupathi said.

Bopanna was already suffering with a niggle in his knee while Prakash had a sore wrist which prompted them to sit out today's matches.

''We had to take best decisions for us considering Rohan's knee and my wrist injury,'' Prakash said. ''If needed I would have taken the courts.'' Japan captain Eiji Takeuchi sounded very happy after being on the losing side for two consecutive days.

''I am happy today, at least we have something to show as the score of 2-3 looks better than 0-3,'' Takeuchi said.

''Both Nishikori and Satoshi played well to beat two India's most experienced players,'' UNI RAR AB GC2120

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