India will play Russia in the Davis Cup World Group play-off first round match in Russia (March 5 to 7, 2010).
The draw was made in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday, when India drew the fourth-seeded team that made the semi-finals this year.
“Russia is a strong team, and they may opt for clay. God willing, we will put up a good fight”, said the captain of the Indian team S. P. Misra.
“Russia in Russia is going to be hard. They have so many top players even if Marat Safin does not play. They have world No.8 Nikolay Davidenko apart from Mikahil Youzhny, Dmitry Tursunov, Igor Andreev, Igor Kunitsyn, all in the top-50. Anyway, we will play our hearts out”, said Rohan Bopanna.
The unanimous point was the hope that Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi would be in good health and form then, to provide the key doubles rubber for India, leaving the rest for Somdev Devvarman and company to fight it out.
Somdev, before leaving for the Bangkok Tour event on Tuesday night had said that if Israel could do so well in the World Group, with one classy player in Dudi Sela, there was no reason why India could not assert itself in the World Group.
For the record, Israel had beaten Russia 4-1 in the second round of the World Group this year.
The other World Group play-off matches will be, Spain v Switzerland, Germany v France, Argentina v Sweden, Ecuador v Croatia, Serbia v US, Chile v Israel and Belgium v Czech Republic.