Anything but a revolt
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No one who knows Somdev Devvarman even cursorily will attribute anything as foolish as revolt or brinkmanship to the young, articulate player. He is way too pragmatic to declare a mindless war against anachronistic, stubborn administrators and far too crystal-clear about his career ambitions and what he needs to do to get there — to stage clever coups for the sake of rebellion. Never mind his guitar and the headband, for a very prudent head rests on those strapping shoulders.
It is for that very reason that Indian tennis followers will not commit the folly of dismissing the latest rumblings in Indian tennis as yet another case of a player tantrum or factionalism that has dominated the sport for over a decade and more. This is not a sequel to tennis' pre-London disaster, starring a bunch of debutantes.
One of India's most proficient and professional singles players put together a list of changes that the governing body AITA needed to urgently look into, since the sport is obviously not going great guns heading into yet another Davis Cup tie against South Korea here.
He never uttered the word 'boycott' and no player old or young or Bopanna, has put a gun to AITA's head demanding those changes within an unreasonably short time-frame. The old suits will do themselves much harm if they get worked up about some imagined rebellion, and digress from real tennis issues like prize money distribution, decision on hosting cities and support staff.
Both the tone of the email and Somdev's statements thereafter have leaned towards sitting across the table and any attempt to whip up a storm and call it a mutiny staged by brats will only scuttle a rare effort at thrashing out a fair deal by players and administrators. 2012 brought Indian tennis needless infamy and showed two of the greatest players Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi in poorer light than what they deserved after AITA bumbled and believed they could simply wish away an important selection decision. 2013 sees Somdev Devvarman trying the straight-talk, but wrongly calling it a revolt would mean there's all the hope of a new year, but no problem resolution.
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