Indian team assembles in Helskinki for Davis Cup tie vs Finland

The Indian Davis Cup team, spearheaded by Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan, has assembled in Helsinki for the World Group first-round tie against Finland.

Indian David Cup team in Helsinki: From left Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Sunder Iyer, Divij Sharan, Yash Pandey, Saketh Myneni, Anil Dhupar, Anil Jain, Rohan Bopanna, Gaurang Shukla, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Zeeshan Ali, Rohit Rajpal.   -  Special Arrangement

The Indian Davis Cup team, spearheaded by Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan, has assembled in Helsinki for the World Group first-round tie against Finland.

Ramkumar was the last to reach after winning the Challenger doubles title in France on Saturday. Asian Games gold medallists Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan will play the doubles rubber on September 17 and 18. Saketh Myneni replaced Sumit Nagal, who had opted out of the tie. Rohit Rajpal is the captain, and Zeeshan Ali is the coach. Gaurang Shukla and Yash Pandey are the physios.

The team has been training at the Smash Tennis Centre. The venue for the tie, Espoo Metro Areena, is an ice-hockey stadium, which will have a temporary tennis court. It is expected to be ready for practice from Tuesday. It is understood that tickets are being sold for the tie.

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The team will enter a bio-bubble on Tuesday, after which movement will be restricted between the hotel and the venue.

The president of the All India Tennis Association (AITA), Anil Jain, and the secretary-general Anil Dhupar, are also with the team. The Indian ambassador Raveesh Kumar hosted a dinner for the team on Sunday, with the number for the gathering restricted to 25 as per the rules. With the emphasis on vaccination, people are not required to wear masks.

Since the whole Indian team has taken the vaccine, the members have been exempted from going through any covid test. They will only have temperature checks daily.

It has been raining, and it was cold over the weekend. But the team has been training indoors without any hitch.

It is expected to settle into a training rhythm once it starts practising on the match court, which is expected to play fast.

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