Davis Cup 2022 | Ramkumar Ramanathan says advantage India against Denmark
A file image of Ramkumar Ramanathan.|
Ramkumar Ramanathan, India's top tennis player, feels India would have a little advantage over Denmark on the grass courts of the Delhi Gymkhana Club, but warned against dismissing the visitors in their Davis Cup World Group I Play-off tie, which begins on Friday in New Delhi.
Holger Rune, Denmark's best-ranked player, withdrew from the tournament last month, and none of the other players are in the top 200 in the ATP world rankings. “Ranking doesn’t matter in Davis Cup. Obviously, they are a great team. (Frederik) Nielsen has been playing for so many years. He is the captain and even though ranked 700th, he is pretty good. I have seen him play," Ramanathan, the highest-ranked Indian in the singles chart, said on Wednesday.
“(Mikael) Torpegaard has been playing for a few years. Now, out of college, he does well in the United States, a tricky player. We still have the advantage but nothing to take away from them. It going to be a good tie.”
For the first time since beating Korea 4-1 in Chandigarh in July 2016, India will host a match on grass courts. However, in February 2019, the team was defeated 1-3 in Italy on the same surface against stronger grass court players.
“Davis Cup is important. I make sure that I am on the team whenever I can. Obviously to win a Davis cup match is something that stays with you forever," Ramanathan said.
“We are playing on grass. We know the conditions better than other teams, which gives us a slight edge over any opponent. We are here early, and we have been practicing a lot. It is going to be fun. Courts are looking good. So, looking forward to the matches."
Ramanathan made a strong start to the season, winning a doubles match with veteran Rohan Bopanna in Adelaide in January. Last month, the combination won the Tata Open Maharashtra, which enabled Ramanathan to break into the top 100 in doubles rankings.
The 27-year-old from Chennai also won the doubles championship at the Bengaluru Open I ATP Challenger partnering Saketh Myneni, before placing second at the Bengaluru Open II.
“I have always played a mix of singles and doubles. Wherever I played, I always tried playing doubles because it gonna help me be better at the net and also improve my singles game," Ramanathan said.
“Of course when you lose early in singles, it is something that keeps you going, and also doubles helps your confidence."
Ramanathan said he is proud to represent his nation and is looking forward to major competitions like the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games later this year.
“Really looking forward to that. Why not? Country comes first over any tournament. I just have to get sharper, play some good tennis and hopefully, I can get a medal or two," he said. Talking about his strengths, Ramanathan said: “Obviously the serve and getting to the net. I like to use my forehand. I need to focus on my serve, if it keeps rolling, the rest of the game backs it up."