Davis Cup | Ramkumar Ramanathan to start off India’s campaign against Serbia

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Davis Cup | Ramkumar Ramanathan to start off India’s campaign against Serbia

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SportsCafe Desk

09/14/2018

The Indian Davis Cup team will kick-off their campaign against Serbia as Ramkumar Ramanathan will take on World No.86 Laslo Djere in the group play-off tie on Friday. Coach Zeeshan Ali downplayed the absence of India’s top-ranked singles player, Yuki Bhambri, who is nursing an injury.

India will take on fifth seed Serbia in their upcoming Davis Cup group match. In the absence of the vibrant, Yuki Bhambri, the responsibility to power India to a win was handed over to the unpredictable - Ramkumar Ramanathan.

Ramanathan will open India’s campaign against Serbia in the match against world number 86, Laslo Djere. Djere is ranked much higher than Ramkumar, who is placed at 135 in the list but is yet to win a match in the Davis Cup. The Indian ace is far more experienced as compared to his counterpart, having played six matches with a 7-5 win-loss record.

India’s second-best singles player - Prajnesh Gunneswaran will take on Serbia number one Dusan Lajovic, who is also the highest ranked singles player of the tie at number 56. Meanwhile, Rohan Bopanna and N Sriram Balaji will take on the local pair of Nikola Milojevic and debutant Danilo Petrovic in the doubles match.

The reverse singles will be played on Sunday as Ramanathan will battle it out with Lajovic and Prajnesh, ranked 162, will play Djere. Ramkumar has played against Lajovic in 2017 and had emerged victorious but the Serbian is in the form of his life as he recently beat US Open finalist Juan Martin Del Potro.

Coach Zeeshan Ali also played down the injury to India’s leading singles player as he claimed that it should not be an issue. 

“Not having Yuki while playing on clay court is not a big setback for us. Looking at the last nine months, Yuki has played one odd or two matches on clay. His ranking is higher than other two players but his game is not suited for clay. It would have been great to have him on the team but it still is not a great setback considering the surface. The good thing is that people like Ramkumar, Prajnesh and Balaji, they have been training in Europe on clay for the last few years. It’s not a new surface for these players. They are used to playing on clay. Ten years back, we did not have players, who could play on clay but now it is different,” Zeeshan told PTI.

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