India to counter Serbia in Davis Cup WG play-offs

The Indian contingent beat China 3-2 to make it to the World Group play-offs in the new two-day three-set match format in Tianjin.

India beat China 3-2 to make it to the World Group play-offs in the new two-day three-set match format in Tianjin (File photo).   -  THE HINDU PHOTO ARCHIVES

India is set to clash with fifth seed Serbia in an away Davis Cup World Group play-off tie, from September 16-18, in a traditional three-day five-set match format.

India beat China 3-2 to make it to the World Group play-offs in the new two-day three-set match format in Tianjin.

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A Novak Djokovic-less Serbia had lost 1-3 to the USA at home in the first round of the World Group in February this year.

The last time India and Serbia clashed was also a World Group Play-off tie which India lost 2-3 in Bengaluru in 2014.

“Countering Serbia in Serbia is always tough. In fact, any of those teams coming from the World Group are difficult sides,” India’s Davis Cup coach Zeeshna Ali said.

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“And we will be back to the old format with four playing members in the team. It’s too early to comment on selection as it is still some four months away,” Zeeshan added.

It will be the fifth year in a row that India will strive to qualify for the elite 16-nation World Group.

India lost to Serbia (2014), Czech Republic (2015), Spain (2016) and Canada (2017) in last four attempts.

The last time India competed in the World Group was in 2011 when it lost 1-4 to Serbia at Novi Sad in 2011.