Two-time Grand Slam finalist Casper Ruud has the “dream” to see Norway compete in the “top division” of Davis Cup, and assured that he would try his best along with the team to make the dream come true, “at least once in our career”.
Addressing the media after his name was drawn by Anil Khanna, member of the Board of Directors of the ITF, to play the Indian No.2 Prajnesh Gunneswaran in the opening rubber, Ruud said that despite the busy schedule he was keen to support the team.
“Davis Cup has a lot of history. The home tie makes it easier for me to play. I will try to continue to play in future’’, said Ruud, fresh from the US Open final.
‘’I am not tired yet. It has been an eventful summer. The sight of fresh mountains gives me a lot of energy. Am ready for this week-end’’, Ruud announced.
Looking at the different playing conditions at the Hakons Hall indoor arena in Lillehammer, Ruud said that the hard court, built on top of wooden flooring, was playing “medium fast”, as it had fresh paint, but he “felt comfortable”.
India captain Rohit Rajpal said that he would have preferred Ramkumar Ramanathan playing the first rubber, but added that it was fine.
While India will field Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni for the doubles rubber, the Norwegians will field their two main players, world No.2 Ruud and the 325th ranked Viktor Durasovic.
India kept Sumit Nagal in the team and put Sasikumar Mukund as the reserve, from the six-member squad.
The first of the two singles matches will start at 9.30 p.m. IST on Friday. The second day’s play, with doubles as the first match, will open at 5.30 p.m. IST on Saturday. The nominations can be changed if the teams so desire after the first day’s play.
Opening day: Casper Ruud v Prajnesh Gunneswaran, followed by Viktor Durasovic vs Ramkumar Ramanathan.