Indian doubles player Raja spoke about Roger Federer's ability to become the greatest player ever. Raja said: "People have a weird vision of how Federer became Federer. He has gone through unbelievable training at the age of 12-13.
He got everything that was required at the right stage. He has become this freak of a tennis player. People think it is talent, but his talent is maybe 2% of the magic." Former Indian Davis Cup team captain Anand Amritraj added: "When Vijay (Amritraj) and I were ranked No.1 and No.2 in India, the extent of support we had is we would get one ticket during the summer to go play where we wanted.
The boys from Tamil Nadu—Prajnesh, Ramkumar, Sasikumar Mukund (India’s No. 1, 3 and 4, respectively, in the world rankings)—all three have done it pretty much on their own. Vijay and I did it on our own, so did the Krishnans (Ramanathan and son Ramesh).
It’s all individual effort, an effort by the parents, it has nothing to do with the federation (All India Tennis Association). We had to do it on our own, but at the time there were only about 600 ranked players; these boys have to compete with nearly 2,000."
Devvarman spoke about how the American system helps the players: “The ironic thing is that Nishikori did all of his training, 14 onwards, at the IMG Academy in Florida. But the thing about ‘Project 45’ was, in trying to get Nishikori over the line, the systems were already set.
So now if you look at Japan over the last 10 years, there have been many who have broken into the top 100. That’s a testament to the work a country has put in order to get excellence. Japan’s success is not accidental.
They are not any bigger or stronger than us, but there’s a system. Now you are seeing that with Korea. You are seeing players coming out from Asian countries that you never saw before because of very focused training and junior development programmes that just don’t exist in India."