Davis Cup: Amritraj's India gear up for Kiwis

Davis Cup: Amritraj's India gear up for Kiwis
Davis Cup: Amritraj's India gear up for Kiwis

Anand Amritraj, India's non-playing Davis Cup captain, said that the hosts would finalise their doubles combination only on Friday night after the completion of two singles matches on the first day.

PUNE: Anand Amritraj, India's non-playing Davis Cup captain, said that the hosts would finalise their doubles combination only on Friday night after the completion of two singles matches on the first day.

India play New Zealand in an Asia/Oceania Group 1 match on the blue-and-green hardcourt at Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex from Friday to Sunday. Both teams need to win two more ties to book a berth in the 16-team World Group for 2018.



"We will assess the tie score and how the singles players are feeling after Friday's matches; and take a call on the doubles team accordingly," said Anand, who will captain in his last Davis Cup tie. AITA has announced that Mahesh Bhupathi will take over from Anand.

India have picked three singles players for the tie - Saketh Myneni, Yuki Bhambri and Ramkumar Ramanathan - with Leander Paes the lone doubles specialist. Their best hope lies in Saketh (world No. 199) getting to play first on Friday against Jose Statham (No. 418). That will give him more rest in comparison with playing the second singles for the doubles rubber with Paes the next day against the pair of Artem Sitak (No. 61) and Michael Venus (No. 38). And even if Ramkumar or Yuki play the doubles with Paes, a chance to open the proceedings with Saketh will work for India.

According to Davis Cup regulations, barring tactical changes, the highest ranked player from either side Saketh and Finn Tearney (414) in this case will play the fourth match of the tie. The sequence of the first-day singles matches will be decided via a draw ceremony on Thursday morning.

Tearney (world No. 414) will play against either Yuki (378) or Ramkumar (276) on Friday. Going by the practice session on Tuesday, former Australian Open junior champion Yuki appears ready. Though his ranking is inferior to Ramkumar's at the moment, Yuki has been a top-100 player.
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