Davis Cup: Bopanna pulls out, Sumit Nagal slotted in for singles

The match against Spain is expected to draw a sellout crowd at the R.K. Khanna Stadium in New Delhi after the Spaniards included 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in their team.

India's Rohan Bopanna during the Mixed Doubles match against Australia in the Rio Olympics.   -  PTI

Former World No.3 doubles player Rohan Bopanna has pulled out of the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie against Spain, owing to a knee injury sustained during the US Open.

The communication, supported by medical advice that Bopanna needed two weeks of rest, helped the chairman of the selection committee, S.P. Misra to promptly push the 19-year-old Sumit Nagal into the squad.

‘’It would have been great had Bopanna and Leander Paes played the doubles against Spain. But, when a player is injured, what can we do. There was no time to search for players. We have been trying for a long time to have three singles players in the team. Now, the captain has a choice when he wants to play Sumit Nagal. Saketh Myneni and Leander will play the doubles,’’ informed Misra.

Elaborating further, the former Davis Cup captain, Misra said that it was getting difficult when there was an injury for the singles player during the tie, as was the case in the last tie against Korea in Chandigarh.

‘’Thank God, it was luckily on grass, and Bopanna was ready to play the reverse singles when Saketh was still recovering from the first day’s physical issues in Chandigarh. It is important that we have three singles players in the team. It is an opportune time for Sumit, even though he makes the team by accident’’, said Misra.

Sumit Nagal is busy competing in the ITF Futures event in Italy as the top seed, and is scheduled to join the squad by Monday. Coach Zeeshan Ali said that the rest of the team would assemble in Delhi on Sunday and start the training session by evening.

‘’Leander is coming on Monday,’’ said Zeeshan.

Incidentally, the Spanish team of Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez is also scheduled to reach the Capital on Monday, for the tie to be held from September 16 to 18.

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