Tennis

Davis cup: Mahesh cautious ahead of draw

India captain not for the tie against China played outdoors

Taming the lion in its den may be a tough proposition, but the Indian team has started battling the conditions while preparing for the Asia Oceania Davis Cup tie against China to be played on April 6 and 7.

From the time the first batch of the team assembled in Tianjin on Saturday, to the arrival of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Sumit Nagal on the first two days of this week, the major challenge has been the cold weather, apart from accommodation and food.

On the eve of the draw, the Indian team captain and multiple Grand Slam champion Mahesh Bhupathi threw some light on the situation and the challenge ahead.

Brutal conditions

“The conditions are pretty brutal. The evening session had to be moved indoors since it was snowing on the court. It is extremely cold. Honestly, I don’t think the ITF should be allowing this tie to be played outdoors. It is not healthy for anyone,” said Mahesh.

Hard courts must be quite familiar to everyone, but Mahesh pointed out that the courts in Tianjin were a bit different.

“The court is slow and low bouncing, in general. But, the balls are moving through the air. The boys are used to playing on hard courts,” said Mahesh.

The focus may be on the four singles rubbers, but with Bopanna and Leander Paes, jumping into the fight together, doubles could be a real cracker. “We have no issues. Practice has been good every day. Doubles is the one point that I think we can bank on, at this stage,” said Mahesh.

The draw will be made on Thursday. The first day will feature two singles, and Saturday will have the doubles and two reverse singles. All the matches will be in the best-of-three sets format.

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Printable version | Mar 25, 2020 6:24:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/davis-cup-mahesh-cautious-ahead-of-draw/article23436831.ece

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