India's tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi to retire after Wimbledon
Indian tennis ace Mahesh Bhupathi has confirmed that he is retiring after Wimbledon 2014. The 12-time Grand Slam winner has played professional tennis for over two decades and has managed to win over 50 titles, and feels that the time is right to move on to other pursuits.
Asked whether Wimbledon will be his last tournament in an interview, the 39-year-old said, “Yes it is. Wimbledon 2014 will be my last slam. To be honest I am already starting to miss professional tennis having played at the highest level for two decades. It is what has given me my identity and I will miss every bit of the action. The thought that I will not be playing any more is daunting.
“It has been an amazing ride and I have absolutely no regrets. I will be pairing up with Marcin Matkowski at Wimbledon and hope to do well in my last outing at SW19. I am glad that Wimbledon is my last Slam. I love the atmosphere and courts of SW19 and it is an addiction, which I will find tough to give up.”
Bhupathi will, however, play for India at the Davis Cup and the Asian Games if called upon. “I’d love to represent India if I am called upon to do so. There is nothing that compares to playing for the country and while Wimbledon will be my last Grand Slam, I will still be available for the Davis Cup and the Asian Games.”
Bhupathi also moved the International Tennis Premier League from Bangkok to Manila recently and spoke about the reasons behind the move and the progress of the preparations. “Tennis is extremely popular in Manila and it was an obvious choice when I realised that Bangkok was not feasible because of the growing political unrest.You cannot hold a high profile competition of this nature in a city where there is chance of political violence. The move was smooth and the response in Manila has been fantastic.”
“The preparations are coming along very well and all the owners are meeting the players on 18 June in London. Everything is looking good at the moment and I am confident it will add a new dimension to tennis.Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done. As an Indian, I am delighted that tennis fans at home will be seeing the very best of the world in action in Mumbai and that should definitely be a highlight of the Indian sporting season this year,” he added.