19-year-old Kadhe to be part of India’s Davis Cup squad
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Everything seems to be happening all at once for Arjun Kadhe. The 19-year-old who celebrated his birthday last week, was picked to be part of India's Davis Cup squad against South Korea and is at present part of the Baseline Bombers. The team looks to make a mark in the inaugural Maharashtra Tennis League (MTL). There is also another matter disturbing Kadhe's mind. He will appear for his Class XII board exams in over a month's time.
"It all has come up from nowhere. The Davis Cup call is definitely a huge thing to have happened. I didn't really expect to be in the frame and it was quite a surprise," said the lanky Pune lad.
Kadhe's mood is not dampened by the fact that he was picked as a reserve member. "Everyone in the team has a chance to grab an opportunity. I am excited to join the pre-tie conditioning camp and hope to do well there," he said. Kadhe is also upbeat about the team that India has picked to face South Korea who have a reputation of being fierce adversaries. "It's the best team right now. People are saying that we have an inexperienced team but with Leander (Paes), VM Ranjeet and Vijayant Malik with us we have a good chance of winning. These guys have played many matches and their experience will help us," he said. He said the fresh team will not carry the baggage of expectations when they face South Korea. "When we go on court, we can play with a free mind. We don't have anything to lose," he added.
The 19-year-old has had a stellar run in 2012. He reached the finals of the senior men's national tennis championship's in Delhi and also reached the quarterfinals of the doubles event of the French Open. A particular encounter at Rolland Garros gave Kadhe a whole new perspective to tennis. "At Roland Garros, senior and junior players have a common lounge and also a common locker rack. I was allotted a locker next to Roger Federer and the first time I saw him, I was awe-struck. However, the next day I mustered courage and we had a few conversations after that. Federer gave me tips about the courts at Roland Garros but just observing him was a great experience," he said.