New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) Indian Davis Cup Captain Rohit Rajpal feels that team will have an advantage of home tie when it plays against Denmark in the World Group Play off 1 at the grass court of iconic Delhi Gymkhana Club on March 4 and 5.
Speaking with the media on the occasion of the Pre draw ceremony, Rohit said, “We are happy that we got here early. We wanted at least 10 days before the tie. Boys went to the TATA Open and then the Dubai Open. They were hard surfaces and that’s why I thought we should be here early so that we can get used to the surface and bounce.”
When asked about the team, Rohit said, “Rohan is a senior player and part of the think tank of the team. He brings a lot of experience and I like to take advice from him.” He further added,” We have a good line up for singles. Ramkumar won the challenger Cup few weeks back so he is in good form. We also have Prajnesh. I am happy that Yuki is back and we have been working on his fitness for the past sometime. Hope we will perform well.”
Denmark Captain Frederik Nielsen admitted that India has an edge of playing at home turf and grass court but his team is determined to give a solid fight. Though the weather and the surface they are going to play aren’t suitable for them but still they are hoping for the best, “I trust my boys, playing on the grass court will not be the biggest upset in the history of Davis Cup but its needless to say that it may cause some upsets to win this tie, said Nielsen.”
Adding on the Russia-Ukraine crisis, he said, “I am baffled that its happening in our times. It’s an age of conflicts in which we are living. It saddens me deeply and I feel very bad for the people who are told to go to war because someone has asked them to go.”
Before this, Rohit was optimistic about the future of Indian Tennis. He says,” AITA is trying to create a pipeline for new talents. We are also opening a centre of excellence and a sports science centre. This way we are trying to cover the gap,” he opined.
India have made it to the Davis Cup final thrice – 1966, 1974 and 1987 – but could never win the ‘World Cup of Tennis’ as the premier international team event is popularly described by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
India have been allotted a home tie after three years and Delhi will host Davis Cup matches after more than five years. The last time Delhi had hosted Davis Cup matches was in September 2016 when Rafael Nadal led Spain had whitewashed India 5-0 in the World Group Play-off round at the DLTA complex here.
India’s squad for Davis Cup:
2. Yuki Bhambri
3. Rohan Bopanna
Reserves: SakethMyneni and DigvijayPratap Singh
Denmark’s squad for Davis Cup
1. Mikael Torpegaard (ranked 210)
2. Johannes Ingildsen (ranked 805)
3. Christian Sigsgaard (ranked 833)
4. Elmer Møller (ranked 1708)
5. FrederikLøchte Nielsen (captain)
Coaches: Martin Killemose Linnet & Jacob Holst
Physio: Kim Lykke
Chief of Sports: Jens Anker Andersen
Press Officer: Thomas Hansen
Vice President: Henrik Maris