Vishnu, Divij hope to strike it rich

Divij Sharan and Vishnu Vardhan complement each other — both on and off court. The two close friends have come a long way and take pride in each other’s achievements.

They will be pairing for the doubles rubber in the Davis Cup tie against New Zealand and seek comfort in each other’s presence before the big battle.

Vishnu has been making waves with his performance — first during his Davis Cup debut against Japan where he showed guts to keep up with Kei Nishikori and later with his doubles performance with Leander Paes during the London Olympics that left even Frenchman Jo-Wilfred Tsonga impressed.

In contrast, Divij has taken quiet steps before getting the attention with his recent impressive showing at the ATP Challenger level and subsequent selection into the Davis Cup squad.

He was among the reserves but was eventually drafted in for the doubles rubber seeing his compatibility with both Vishnu and Yuki.

“I was pleasantly surprised when I was told that I will be playing. I came with nothing in mind and I am glad to be finally making my debut. I have kept a low profile, not many know that I was in the Davis Cup squad before even though I didn’t play,” Sharan, who broke into the top-100 in doubles on Tuesday, told Deccan Herald.

“It has been a long process and I am glad the results are finally coming and acknowledged.”

He admits feeling the nerves but is happy to have Vishnu by his side.  He, though, is equally comfortable with Yuki Bhambri, who could also partner him for the doubles in case Vishnu’s singles match goes all the way.

“Vishnu has been my close friend on the circuit. We have been playing together for a long time and always keep in touch. He has been playing fantastic of late and I am really happy for him. It is great to have him with me for my debut match,” he said.

Vishnu returns the compliment. “I have spent more time with him than with my family. I am really happy for him, he deserves to be here. It is great to see him break into top 100,” he said.

The two are confident about their chemistry on court. “Serve has always been my weapon and Divij has excellent hands. In the Olympics also my serve was my weapon while Leander took control at the net. On these courts, it will help us to keep the points shorter,” he said.

Vishnu and Divij will be replacing stalwarts like Leander and Mahesh Bhupathi, who had dominated their opponents in the doubles rubber.
“We are not trying to match them. They are legends and still playing. But yes, if we could be taken as second best, we won’t mind. But even for that we have a long way to go,” Vishnu smiled.

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