Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Former coach Anand Amritraj, feels that India start firm favourites against Denmark in the Davis Cup World Group I playoff tie here on March 4 and 5 here because the visitors will find it tough to negotiate the grass court on which the matches will be played
The former Davis Cup start however opined that for that to happen, the hosts s must exploit the Danish players’ weakness on faster grass courts of the Delhi Gymkhana Club (DGC),
“The fact that we got the opportunity to hold matches on grass will be a massive advantage. Danish players are used to slow hard courts or clay surfaces, and they will not prefer the faster grass courts one bit,” Anand said
“India needs to capitalise on this and prove they are superior grass players. However, it will not be a straightforward task. But I really reckon that we are firm favourites,” he added.
Anand, brother of veteran Vijay Amritraj, was part of the country’s Davis Cup squad that reached the final of the ‘World Cup of Tennis’ in 1974.
The Government however, did not allow the team to play against South Africa due to anti- apartheid policy. Anand was also part of the Davis Cup team that reached the final against Sweden in 1987. Vijay was, incidentally, the captain.
Asked about the relevance of Davis Cup in the current era that celebrates Grand Slam culture so much, Anand said, “Davis Cup is an emotion. It is without a doubt, the World Cup of tennis. “
“Playing for your country is different from playing for individual milestones, and that is a novelty that is hard to come by.” He said
The winner of the two-day rubber will qualify for the World Group I stage that is scheduled to happen later this year.