Davis Cup: Bangalore to host Djokovic and Serbia in World Group Playoff Tie; Paes, Bhupathi Open to Return
By Shruthi SU | April 29, 2014 2:44 PM EST
Somdev Devvarman prevailed over the Korean attack to help India advance to the World Group playoffs.
"In consultation with the captain and players of the team, AITA has decided to hold the next Davis Cup World Group Qualifying tie against Serbia in Bengaluru," the AITA secretary general Bharat Oza said in a statement on Monday.
Novak Djokovic, his preference for faster courts, was a major factor in choosing Bangalore. Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali said the slower nature and higher altitude of Bangalore courts could cause the world no. 2 some trouble. "Assuming that Novak Djokovic will play, he will reach India on Wednesday or Thursday," Ali said. "In that case he will have only one or two days to get used to the conditions before playing his first match on Friday. Getting used to the conditions at a higher altitude is not easy for anyone."
The Somdev Devvarman spearheaded India came out victorious for the first time in South Korea beating the hosts 3-1 to secure a playoff berth. India's tennis ace Leander Paes had earlier said it was a remarkable achievement by the young team but the tie ahead will be challenging.
"The next tie is going to be a tough one but kudos to all our boys for a job well done in Korea," Paes said adding he was still available for selection. "If there is a need for me, I will [make myself available]. If need be to play or captain or help out, I'm still very open about it.
"The boys did well, but at the same time we have a long way to go as far as the singles players are concerned to play against the world group nations.
"In doubles we have quite a few options. As far as the singles go, we had a few options there, but the quality had to get a lot better. And in that the Korea tie was a good one."
Paes' once Davis Cup partner Mahesh Bhupati too, expressed interest in playing for his country after hinting at retirement following this year's Wimbledon.
"I am always available," Bhupati said. "I think it is important because the doubles will be pivotal in that match, so let's see how things pan out."
In response to the two top players, secretary general Oza said it was time for the country to move forward and not backwards. "Our selection committee including captain [Anand Amritraj] and coach would decide on whether we need to go backwards or keep faith in the youngsters who did well against South Korea."
Serbia will be a tough road ahead for India as the 2013 finalists lead 2-1 in Davis Cup head-to-heads against the hosts. Also, they have made it to the World Group for the past seven years and have been in the quarterfinals or better every year since 2010.
The winning nation will contest in the 2015 World Group while the losing team will have to settle for a tie in the Zone Groups.
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