Ramkumar included in India's Davis Cup team

The 21-year-old Ramkumar Ramanathan is all set to make his Davis Cup debut against Korea in the Asia Oceania group-I tie to be played on the grass courts of Chandigarh Club from July 15 to 17.

Ramkumar Ramanathan made it to the quarters at the Chennai Open held at the start of the year.   -  R. Ragu

The 21-year-old Ramkumar Ramanathan is all set to make his Davis Cup debut against Korea in the Asia Oceania group-I tie to be played on the grass courts of Chandigarh Club from July 15 to 17.

Ramkumar had made ripples at the Chennai Open to start the season on a vibrant note, by making it to the quarterfinals, and has won 12 Futures singles titles and 14 doubles titles.

Saketh Myneni will spearhead the Indian challenge in the absence of 149th ranked Yuki Bhambri who is still in the process of recovering from a painful ‘’tennis elbow’’ that saw him miss both the French Open and Wimbledon Grand Slam events. Somdev Devvarman, who has played a significant role in many ties, has slipped to 331 in world ranking, and has not been playing the circuit for some time owing to an injury.

The 28-year-old Saketh is ranked 147. He has two Challenger and nine Futures singles titles. Ramkumar is ranked 231 at the moment, as against a career-best rank of 199 in May.

The big serving Saketh and Ramkumar should give the edge for India, which will have Rohan Bopanna and Leander Paes, combining together for doubles, as a rehearsal for the Rio Olympics. The last time they played together in the Davis Cup World Group play-off in Delhi against the Czech Republic, the duo had lost tamely.

Korea leads India 6-4 in the matches between the two countries in Davis Cup so far. India had won the last tie in Korea. The Korean team is expected to be spearheaded by 20-year-old Hyeon Chung, ranked 107 in the world. He has a 1-0 record against Saketh, having won the Challenger match in Guangzhou in 2015. He has not played Ramkumar so far. Hyeon Chung won four Challenger singles titles last year and was ranked a career-best 51.

Lee Duck Hee, the 18-year-old, ranked 201 in the world is expected to be the second singles player for Korea. Saketh has a 2-0 record against the Korean, having beaten him in the French Open qualifying event and the Anning Challenger this season.

The Korean team is scheduled to be announced on July 5, the deadline set for teams for the ties starting on July 15.

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