Three-time finalist India take on Denmark as the Davis Cup returns to the iconic Delhi Gymkhana Club (DGC) after a gap of almost five decades. India will lock horns with Denmark in the World Group playoff I tie on March 4 and 5 here.
The two-day rubber on the fast grass courts of DGC will be the first tie between India and Denmark since September 1984, when the visitors won 3-2. The only other time both sides faced each other was in 1927 when Denmark blanked India 5-0 in the quarter-finals in Copenhagen.
India have made it thrice to the finals of the Davis Cup - in 1966, 1974 and 1987 - the ‘World Cup of Tennis’ as the premier international team event is popularly described by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
Talking about the Indian team’s preparation, the country’s non-playing captain Rohit Rajpal, said the hosts have their task cut out.
“Denmark are a very good side. We have been preparing well for our matches and now we just need to focus on our strengths. That will be our strategy going forward,” he said.
The All India Tennis Association (AITA) president and the Davis Cup Organising Committee (OC) chairman, Anil Jain said that the event will help the sport of tennis to gain more popularity in the country.
“Davis Cup is a prestigious event and we are glad to host it after three years on home soil. This is a great chance for India to showcase its talent. We believe that the conduct of the event will help tennis reach every nook and corner of the country,” the AITA president said.
India have been allotted a home tie after three years and Delhi will host Davis Cup matches after more than five years.
India squad for Davis Cup:
1. Prajnesh Gunneswaran
2. Yuki Bhambri
3. Rohan Bopanna
4. Ramkumar Ramanathan
5. Divij Sharan
Reserves: Saketh Myneni and Digvijay Pratap Singh
Denmark squad for Davis Cup
1. Mikael Torpegaard (ranked 210)
2. Johannes Ingildsen (ranked 805)
3. Christian Sigsgaard (ranked 833)
4. Elmer Møller (ranked 1708)
5. Frederik Løchte Nielsen (captain)
Coaches: Martin Killemose Linnet & Jacob Holst