All India Tennis Association announced India Davis cup squad for World Group Qualifier rubber against Italy on Monday with the return of Asian games gold medallist Divij Sharan. This is the second time when the doubles specialist from Delhi has been included in Davis cup squad after 2012.
The source noted that the selection was fairly done on the basis of player rankings and top four singles and two doubles player were included in the squad.
Sharan ranked 39th will partner Rohan Bopappa(ranked 37th) in the doubles event. The duo have also paired with each other for the 2019 pro season after their success in Asian games together.
Veteran Leander Paes was again sidelined from the team after missing out the Serbia tie.
Yuki Bhambri has still not recovered from the knee injury and in his absence, India’s challenge in singles will be handed over to a resurgent Prajnesh Gunneswaran (Rank 110) and Ramkumar Ramanathan (132 Rank).
Another player on resurgence is Vizag born Saketh Myneni(259) who will be the third highest ranked singles player in the team and can trouble the opposition by his big lethal service. He has won a Asian games gold with Sania Mirza in the mixed doubles category in 2014.
Sasi Kumar Mukund is the new entrant to the team who has replaced N Sriram Balaji.
India will host Italy in Kolkata’s South club on 1-2 February.
New tournament format
24 teams will play the knockout qualifiers on February 1 and 2 and the 12 winning team will play the year-end finals.
These 12 team will be joined by last-year semifinalist- France, Spain, USA and Croatia alongside two wild card entrants- Argentina and Great Britain.
India are currently ranked 20 in Davis cup.
Indian Davis cup squad against Italy
Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Divij Sharan, Rohan Bopanna, Saketh Myneni and Sasi Kumar Mukund