Higher ranked Indian Ramkumar Ramanathan will take on Denmark’s Christian Sigsgaard in the opening singles match of Davis Cup World Group Play-off 1 at the Delhi Gymkhana Club here on Friday.
170 ranked Ramkumar is much above his opponent who is placed 820 in the world.
In the second singles, 590th ranked Yuki Bhambri will meet Mikael Torpegaard who is currently 210th in the world rankings.
On Saturday doubles players Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan will play against Johannes Ingildsen and a former Wimbledon doubles champion Frederik Nielsen. While Ramkumar will meet Mikael Torpegaard and Yuki takes on Sigsgaard.
India and Denmark are facing each other after 38 years. The last they played was in 1984 when India won 3-2 in Aarhus.
Non-playing captain Rohit Rajpal described it as a good draw because Ramkumar can have the best chances against Sigsgaard.
“As you know, we are playing on grass. We know the conditions better, which gives us a slight edge. Ramkumar has been practising a lot here. He knows the track very well. Overall it will be a good match for us. We have a better chance in the first match, so I’m looking forward to the matches,” he said.
The Indian team looks sharp and completely acclimatised to the grass court. The players will have a feel of the Centre Court for the first time on Friday.
“The idea is to keep it low and as fast as possible. We will consult grass court experts and local gardeners to know how much rolling is required. Hopefully, it will play well,” Rajpal said.
The eldest player in the squad Rohan Bopanna maintained that his focus is on what he can do.
“After playing with numerous partners in my 20-year career, it now does not matter. The adjustment comes naturally whether it’s a left-handed partner or right-handed,” the 41-year-old added.
Denmark captain Frederik Nielsen asserted that the draw was favourable for them as they wanted to put the 24-year-old Sigsgaard in the first match. He added that the team is upbeat against the hosts and it will be a good match on the first day.
“See, we are here as underdogs, I don’t think anyone has an advantage. Yes, India is playing here in home conditions that is the biggest thing for them. We have experience of playing against the biggest teams in the world. We did very well against Spain one of the top teams in the world,” said Nielsen.
“Christian has is doing good, he is in great form, he is very tricky on the court, so let’s see what he has on the first day for us. I don’t want to predict anything now but can assure you a good match on the first day.
“We believe that we also have an advantage, but added that nothing can take it away from India. They are playing in home conditions,” he added.