In a new twist to the crisis in Indian tennis, Somdev Devvarman, who is recovering from a shoulder injury, has said he is fit to partner Leander Paes in the Olympics if asked by the All India Tennis Association (AITA).
Amid the furore that has struck the game, Somdev, who is in the Unites States after undergoing a shoulder surgery in January, said, on Thursday, he is willing to partner Paes.
Paes, India's top-ranked doubles player in the ATP list, has threatened to pull out of the Olympics after being rejected as partner by Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna -- both of whom want to be sent as a team to the Games in London next month.
"If given a chance to play, I would play. I have told the AITA that I am ready. They have told me that they will send my entry for singles wildcard. I have no problem playing with Leander in doubles also. I am looking forward to it," Somdev told Times Now.
Paes has rejected the two-team formula suggested by the AITA in which he was to be paired with a youngster such as Yuki Bhambri or Vishnu Vardhan.
If Somdev is available for selection, AITA would have the option of pairing him with Paes but the fitness of the 27-year-old, who has had a reasonably good run in the singles since arriving on the scene, is a major concern.
Somdev is currently ranked 240 in the singles chart, his progress hampered by the injury breakdown.
"The Olympics is five weeks away. I had my surgery in January. I feel pretty good right now. I have to be cautious to see how my shoulder holds up in the next few weeks but my doctors and I am optimistic that I should not have a problem," he said.
Somdev, however, refused to be drawn into the ongoing squabbling between Paes, Bhupathi and Bopanna, saying, "That's nothing I should comment on. My opinion doesn't matter on it. I should keep out of it."