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Bhupathi looks at a big clay season with Moodie

By Staff
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Kolkata, May 3 (UNI) Doubles specialist Mahesh Bhupathi and his South African partner Wesley Moodie are looking at a successful European Clay Court season leading to the French Open.

Wesley Moodie won the 2005 edition of Wimbledon along with Stephen Huss. They made Wimbledon history by becoming the first ever qualifying team to win the trophy defeating Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3. Thereafter he partnered with Wyane Black. But with the retirement of Black, 32, after 12 years on the circuit, Moodie joined forces with Mahesh Bhupathi.

The Indo-African pair has since played in only one tournament in Rotterdam in Netherlands and a host of other tournaments. Bhupathi has also played with Czechs Radek Stepanek and Leos Friedl in 2005-06.

Bhupathi and Moodie will begin the clay court season in Rome and then move on the circuit leading to the French open.

''He is a good player. We are combining well and hope to continue playing well,'' Bhupathi said, during his sojourn here to announce the second season of Sunfeast Open.

Asked if he was aiming any more grand slams with Moodie he said, ''Let's see how we play this clay season. We hope to combine well and then anything is possible. Moodie has already won the Wimbledon once and anything is possible.'' On the future of Indian tennis as a second rung of stars was still coming, he said, ''Prakash Amritraj, Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan are all good players. They just need to work harder and take their game to the next level.'' ''We also need more grassroots tournaments and infrastructure development for the players to come up. But I am very hopeful that these players would be able to come up with good shows soon,'' he said.

On the last Davis Cup tie against Pakistan that India managed to win 3-2, Bhupathi said, ''Pakistan is a tough team. We had to keep the rhetoric high to boost the confidence of the team, but we always knew it was going to be tough.'' In fact Leander Paes had to play the last singles against Aqeel Khan to seal the rubber, after Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi won the singles tie making it tough for the Indians.

Bhupathi, however, hoped that the youngsters would prove their mettle soon.

Talking about his company Globosports, he said, ''We are doing well. We have started a production house, are into infrastructure building, and also a badminton academy with Pullela Gopichand.'' The production house under the name Match Point has already produced Bangalore Open. Some of their newest signing in celebrity management are cine stars Siddharth and Kunal Kapoor of Rang De Basnti Fame and Anu Mallik. Narain Karthikeyan their ace formula one racer, is having a great season as a Test driver for Williams Formulla 1 Team and Bhupathi hopes next season he would be racing for them.

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