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AITA bonanza for Paes

February 14, 2004 18:40 IST

The Indian Davis Cup team, led by tennis ace Leander Paes, will receive a bonanza following its thrilling 3-2 victory over New Zealand in the Asia-Oceania Group 1 first round tie early this month.

Paes, who was playing captain of the team, will receive Rs 250,000, while his winning doubles partner Mahesh Bhupathi will get Rs 50,000, the All India Tennis Association announced in Delhi on Saturday.

The reward follows the AITA's decision at Friday's Executive meeting to give Rs 100,000 to a player for every Davis Cup victory.

Paes won both his singles matches besides the doubles with Bhupathi against New Zealand.

Harsh Mankad and Vishal Punna lost their singles rubbers.

The AITA has decided to sponsor, either completely or partially, some promising junior players. They are: Karan Rastogi, Somdev Varman, Divij Sharan, Tushar Liberhan, Sanam Singh and Rupesh Roy among the boys; Megha Vakharia, Sanaa Bhambri, Tara Iyer and G K Shwetha among the girls.

AITA president Yashwant Sinha had a special word of appreciation for Paes while also commending the creditable performances of the juniors, including Sania Mirza and Isha Lakhani, in 2003.

"It is amazing to see what Leander can do for his country. The prayers of millions were heard by the Almighty when he was unwell and it is very hearty to know that he is back for the nation once again.

"This reward what we have given him is a very small token of appreciation for his patriotism but our feelings are greater," Sinha said.

The junior teams for the ITF East Asia circuit (of four ITF Grade 1 Tournaments in Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Japan) as also the ITF Under-14 Asia Zone championships to be held at Jakarta in March-April were also announced.

Team for East-Asia junior circuit:

Boys: Karan Rastogi, Divij Sharan, Tushar Liberhan, Rupesh Roy, Sanam Singh, Navdeep Singh; Girls: Tara Iyer, Sanaa Bhambri, Madura Ranganathan, Poonam Reddy.

Team for ITF Asian Under 14 Zone championships:

Boys: Debendra Das, Vijayant Malik, Yuki Bhambri.

Girls: Poojashree Venkatesh, Prerana Mythri, Sushrutha Reddy.

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