Vishnu Vardhan may have stepped into the big boots of Mahesh Bhupathi but the youngster said he is under no pressure and that the experience of playing alongside Sania Mirza in the 2010 Asiad will hold him in good stead when he partners Leander Paes in the upcoming Olympics.
“When I was asked to pair up with Sania during the Asian Games at Guangzhou in 2010,I was totally under pressure but I handled it well at that time. Now I know how to handle pressure,” said Vishnu.
AITA today worked out a compromise formula by agreeing to pair Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna and teamed up Paes with Vishnu (world no 207) for the men’s doubles event in London despite the 13-time Grand Slam winner’s threat to pullout on being partnered with a low-ranked player.
But Vishnu said that he had no knowledge of what exactly Paes had communicated to All India Tennis Association and hence would not like to read too much into it.
“I don’t know what exactly had happened or what was the e-mail all about. Probably I will get to know when I meet Leander,” insisted the 19-year-old.
Vishnu said that he would not be overawed by Paes on the court as he shares a good relation with him.
“Though I haven’t played in matches with him,I have practiced a lot with him during Davis Cup and trained with him innumerable times,so I share a good equation with him.
“We share a very good relationship with each other and he always tries to take out time to help me with my game. We are in constant touch.”
Vishnu was confident that he was not going to be bogged down by the presence of some top-ranked players during the Games.
“I know my ranking is not up to the mark. But with Leander around,who is a very good mentor,am sure I am going to learn a lot and will be able to do well,” he said.
Asked if he and Paes have a realistic chance of winning a medal at the Olympics,Vishnu said,”Absolutely.”
“We (Vishnu and Sania) were unranked at the Asian Games and still we ended up with a silver medal there. I am sure in the Olympics also me and Paes can do that.”
With just about a month to go for the mega-event,scheduled to start on July 27,Paes and Vishnu are expected to develop an understanding and the youngster said that would not be too difficult to achieve.
“We adjust to different partners all the time. We are used to such situations. We just pick partners during tournaments or Grand Slams and strike an understanding easily. One month is a long period and me and Paes can develop good understanding,” said Vishnu.
Vishnu also believed that he could contribute to his team’s success as he has got a booming serve.
“My game revolves around my serve and my volleys. My serve has always been the strength of my game.”
Meanwhile,Vishnu said that his years of hard work has finally paid off and it was an emotional moment of him and his family.
“It was a very emotional moments for me and my family and everyone who was associated with my tennis all these years. My coach and my training partner. We are very happy that everything has finally fallen in place,” said Vishnu.