Bangalore: Yuki Bhambri will open India’s Davis Cup campaign against Serbia, drawn against visiting side’s number two player Dusan Lajovic for the first singles match of the World Group playoff tie.
The second singles match will be played between India’s Somdev Devvarman and Filip Krajinovic. The first match will begin at 3 pm and the second from 6:30 PM.
On the second day of the tie, ace Indian tennis player Leander Paes will combine with local star Rohan Bopanna against the Serbian pair of Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac.
While on the last day of the tie, Devvarman will play Lajovic in the fourth rubber and Bhambri will face Krajinovic in the second reverse singles.
The first reverse singles will commence from 4:00 PM and and the fifth rubber will start after 6:30 PM.
The nominations for the doubles and reverse singles can be changed up to one hour before scheduled start.
Indian non-playing captain Anand Amritraj said he was happy with Yuki starting the tie for India.
Asked whether India will target Krajinovic, Amritraj said they are not targeting anyone as both are equally good players.
“I have seen them practice. They are equally good. Just need to go out and play and hope for the best. No we are not targetting anyone … It depends entirely on the day,” he said.
Asked whether he is happy with playing matches in evenings, Amritraj said, “Personally I would have opted for playing in the morning, and in Davis Cup normally matches are played in the mornings. However, we agreed to the wishes of the Bangalore organisers and we are ready for it.”
Devvarman said both the teams are evenly matched. He described Krajinovic as a very good player.
“There is a chance for both teams as both are evenly matched and I think Krajinovic is a very good and informed player. Even I have been playing well. I am going to put my best foot forward,” he said.
The Indian said playing in Shanghai has helped him become match fit.
“It was a good decision to have played in Shanghai. I am feeling healthy, match sharp and fit, and I am looking forward to the match,” he added.
Replying to yet another query, Devvarman said he played against Krajinovic twice before in 2009 and 2010.
“The first match I won in a three-set game and the next I went down,” he said.
Asked what would be Serbia’s approach in the tie in the absence of world number one Novak Djokovic, non-playing captain Bogdan Obradovic said it did not matter much.
“It does not matter who is playing. The team needs to be prepared and has to play point by point, set by set and that’s all that matters,” he said.
On evening starts in Davis Cup, Obradovic said they agreed to it after the organisers explained things from the broadcasting and marketing points of view.
“ITF (International Tennis Federation) and local television and television world over are doing their job and we need to adapt to their requirements of marketing and broadcasting benefits,” he said.