Misc Tennis

DAVIS CUP | India should have its best players against Pakistan: Vijay Amritraj

Storm Sanders was Australia’s hero after she won the first singles rubber before returning for the deciding doubles match alongside 38-year-old Samantha Stosur.

Vijay Amritraj.
| Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

Former Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj felt India should have had its best players in the Davis Cup tie against Pakistan starting on Saturday.

“I think Davis Cup is something you must put your best team forward, irrespective of who you are playing. I don’t think, under any conditions that I can possibly think of, that anyone should say no to Davis Cup,” said Amritraj here on Thursday.

India’s charge will be led by Ramkumar Ramanathan, Yuki Bhambri, N. Sriram Balaji, Niki Poonacha and Saketh Myneni, with the country’s top-ranked singles player Sumit Nagal making himself unavailable for the tie.

Commenting on the tie, Amritraj said, “We are still the better team at the end of the day. If Ramkumar gets 80% of his first serves, I don’t think it is going to make any difference; he is going to get out of trouble. Aisam Qureshi and Aqueel Khan are experienced on grass, and the fact that it is a two-day event, best of three sets, and if the grass is not good, it could favour them.”

Amritraj also felt Nagal should make use of the upcoming Chennai Open Challenger to break into the top 100.

“Sumit has got a good opportunity here to make a run to the semifinals or the finals, and next thing you know, he is into the Top 100 and gets into all the Grand Slams. Once you get into the Grand Slams, every time you win a match or two, you are going to stay there.

“It is often harder to get there (into the Top 100) than to stay there because you have access to more points once you get there. So, events like these in India are critical for him to make full use of it,” added the former India Davis Cup captain.

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