India to host Italy in Davis Cup Qualifiers in February

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India to host Italy in Davis Cup Qualifiers in February

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SportsCafe Desk

09/27/2018

India will play hosts to Italy in the qualifying round of the Davis Cup on February 1 and 2 next year. India holds a higher rank than Italy in the Asia-Oceania zone and was announced to host the match by virtue of that but the city for the qualifiers is yet to be decided by the Indian body.

Italy was one of the four losing quarter-finalists while India, who lost the playoffs to Serbia earlier this month, will host the game by the grace of their higher ranking in the Davis Cup in the Asia-Oceania zone. In total, 18 finalist teams will take part in the tournament including this year’s four semi-finalists and two wildcards (Argentina and Britain), where the game will be held from 18-24 November.

Weather will be an important factor in selecting the venue for the qualifier game in February. Considering the cooler weather during the month of February in Kolkata and Chandigarh, the team management will preferably choose Chennai in the south for a warmer climate. As the Europeans are familiar to play on clay courts, India might go for hard or grass ones.

Italy, who have five players in top-100 in singles including the temperamental world No. 13 Fabio Fognini in their ranks, hold a 4-1 record against India. In their last two meetings, Italy won on clay in Genoa in 1998 whereas India got the better of Italy on the grass in Calcutta in 1985.

The Indian Davis Cup captain - Mahesh Bhupathi said, "Happy we got a home tie. We will have to talk to everyone. It’s too early and we don’t need to let them (Italy) know (about the choice of the surface) just now,” reported TOI.

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