Delhi frontrunner to host the Davis Cup qualifier

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Delhi frontrunner to host the Davis Cup qualifier

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SportsCafe Desk


Delhi is likely to host the Davis Cup qualifier between India and Italy in February 2018. Despite losing to Serbia in the World Group Playoffs, India have a second chance as they will play in the knockout qualifiers on February 1 and 2 to finalise their place in the finals for the upcoming season.

A total of 24 teams fight against each other to finalise their places in the to year-end tournament. India lost their World Group Play-off to Serbia but due to their world rank of 20, they have a second chance to make it to the finals. A source said, New Delhi is the favourite among other options of Chennai, Chandigarh, and Kolkata to host the fixture. India was awarded the hosting rights for the tournament when they drew against Italy in London last month. 

Twelve winners in February will join these six teams for the 18-team Finals in Madrid in November 2019. Despite India losing the playoffs away to Serbia earlier this month, made the cut by virtue of their higher Davis Cup ranking in the Asia-Oceania zone.

On the other hand, Italy will play this fixture due to the new format which sees only four semi-finalists from 2018 season, along with two wild cards – Argentina and Britain – have a direct entry. Italy lost their quarter-final this year. 

Delhi itself has two options - the Delhi Gymkhana and DLTA. However, a source has ruled out Delhi Gymkhana due to its “proximity with the PM’s residence” as there will be a lot of restrictions for security reasons. Delhi has recently hosted big teams such as Spain and the Czech Republic at DLTA.

India will face Italy after 21 years. The last time the two teams clashed was in 1998 when Italy won the home tie in Genoa. Italy will have world No 13 Fabio Fognini, who recently made it to the final at the Chengdu Open.

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