Davis Cup: Indian team to be decided a day prior to the draw

Bopanna, Paes and Sharan will all be going to Croatia for the Davis Cup qualification tie, along with the singles specialists Gunneswaran, Nagal and Ramanathan.

The Indian Davis Cup team will travel to Zagreb for the Davis Cup tie against Croatia, with three doubles specialists. (Representative image)

The Indian Davis Cup team will travel to Zagreb for the Davis Cup tie against Croatia, with three doubles specialists. (Representative image)   -  Getty Images

The Indian Davis Cup team will travel to Zagreb for the Davis Cup tie against Croatia, with three doubles specialists.

Rohan Bopanna, Leander Paes and Divij Sharan will all be going to Croatia for the Davis Cup qualification tie, along with the singles specialists Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Sumit Nagal and Ramkumar Ramanathan.

Interestingly, the two-day tie, to be played on a best-of-three sets format, will have four singles and a doubles.

‘’The final five will be decided before the draw ceremony on Thursday’’, stressed the coach of the Davis Cup team, Zeeshan Ali.

Read | Leander Paes named in India Davis Cup squad for Croatia tie

With all the three doubles specialists having a good chance to compete in the Tokyo Olympics, it will be important for them to be eligible for the same, by meeting the Davis Cup requirements.

The 46-year-old Leander will qualify through many ways for Tokyo, considering his vast Davis Cup service and also the fact that he is the only tennis player in the world to have competed in seven Olympics.

Rohan Bopanna also would be eligible, owing to his Davis Cup service spread over 28 ties, starting from 2002.

However, Divij Sharan has played only two ties so far in his career, one in 2012 against New Zealand, and the one last year against Italy.

The eligibility criteria demands a player to be part of the Davis Cup team thrice during the Olympic cycle.

Of course, there are further exceptions to the eligibility rules, but it may be taken for granted that Divij Sharan would play the tie against Croatia.

Also read | Indian tennis in 2019: Rise of Sumit Nagal, the Davis Cup that cost Mahesh Bhupathi captaincy

‘’Depending on how the players fare in the tournaments, the team is expected to meet in Zagreb on February 28, and will start training on 29th. The main venue is available to us only from the March 2, but AITA has arranged an alternate venue with similar indoor courts for us to practice and get acclimatised’’, Zeeshan said.

With physio Anand Kumar Dubey occupied with Fed Cup service, the Davis Cup team will have Yash Pandey and Gaurang Shukla as the physios. Rohit Rajpal will be the captain.

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