The two biggest names in Indian Tennis, Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan put up a sublime performance to clinch the Men’s Doubles title at the Tata Open Maharashtra. The duo beat the top seeds from Australia, Luke Saville and John-Patrick Smith 6-7, 6-3, 10-6 in a thriller at the Balewadi Stadium. This will be a huge morale booster for the pair and the entire Indian Davis Cup squad who are set to take on Denmark on 4th and 5th March at the Delhi Gymkhana Club in the World Group I Play-offs tie.
Bopanna (43) and Ramanathan (185) are an integral part of the Indian team which has already been announced and comprises Yuki Bhambri (863), Prajnesh Gunneswaran (215) and Divij Sharan (119). The squad is led by coach Zeeshan Ali and non-playing captain Rohit Rajpal. Speaking at the post match conference in Balewadi, Rohan Bopanna said, “I think we have a really strong squad going into the Davis Cup this year. For doubles we have Ram, Yuki, Divij & myself, so a lot of options to play with. It depends on how the first day goes and then it will be the coach’s decision to field the doubles pair.” He further added “Playing anywhere in India is special to me and Pune is much more special because I have lived here for 5 years (1994-99). I have a good connection with the city although when I was living here, the Balewadi Stadium wasn’t even there but there are some really fond memories here,” said Bopanna.
The tie will be held in the grass courts of the Delhi Gymkhana Club in a biosecurity bubble. India would consider playing on grass an added advantage over Denmark who are more comfortable playing on clay courts. On paper, the Danish are favourites having higher ranked singles players in Holger Rune (104) and Frederik Nielsen (227). This will be the first meeting between the two teams since 1984, when India won 3-2 in Aarhus.