Yuki Bhambri will challenge world No.9 Holger Rune in the opening rubber, as India takes on Denmark in the Davis World Group tie, on indoor hard courts at the Royal Stage, HIllerod, on Friday.
Sumit Nagal has been selected as the No.1 player for the tie and will play the second singles against August Holmgren on the opening day.
“Looking at the players after coming early, we decided that it was best to play Sumit Nagal against the Denmark No.2 on the first day. So, we play Yuki Bhambri as the No.2 on the opening day. I would have preferred Sumit to play the first match, but the draw is that he will play the second rubber on the opening day. It is important for us to be 1-1 on the first day”, said captain Rohit Rajpal.
Even though he has named Rohan Bopanna and Yuki as the doubles team, Captain Rajpal said that the nomination could be changed on the second day both for doubles, as well as singles.
“They have not named Rune for doubles, but we expect him to play the doubles. We have Ramkumar Ramanathan for doubles as a good option”, said Rajpal.
Denmark may be the overwhelming favourite with Rune in the squad, but the Indian team believes that it has a good chance against the No.2 player August Holmgren, ranked 484.
Thus, the Indian team banks on the idea of winning the two singles matches against the Danish No.2 player, and pocket the doubles to seal the tie.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan will be ready to play singles on the second day, if the situation demands.
The Indian players have struggled to beat the low ranked No.2 players in recent ties, and the onus will be on Sumit to change the trend and help India make a fight of it, even though he himself is ranked at an unflattering 506.
February 3: Holger Rune vs Yuki Bhambri; August Holmgren vs Sumit Nagal.
February 4: Johannes Ingildsen & Christian Sigsgaard vs Yuki Bhambri & Rohan Bopanna; Rune vs Nagal; Holmgren vs Bhambri.