September 22, 2016 10:16:33 pm
India were on Thursday drawn to play New Zealand at home in their next Davis Cup tie in the Asia/Oceania Group I competition, which is scheduled for February 3-5. It was after beating New Zealand 3-2 in an away tie that India qualified for the World Group Play-offs in 2015 season. India are back in the Asia Oceania zone after being whitewashed by five-time champions Spain in the World Group play-off tie.
India captain Anand Amritraj said he’s hoping that top singles players, who have missed the last two ties due to injuries, will be back in the team.
“It’s good for us that we are playing at home. Let’s hope that Yuki Bhambri and Somdev Devvarman get back to playing in the side. It’s still a few months away. I will discuss with AITA about the surface and venue soon,” Amritraj told PTI.
Meanwhile, it has been learnt that Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association is interested in hosting the tie and is expected to send a letter to AITA, expressing intent to host the first round tie. In that case, Pune will be the venue.
India have not lost to New Zealand in the last five ties played between the two teams. They emerged victorious in 2015, 2012, 2004, 2003, 2002 while losing three ties (1978, 1976, 1975) out of eight played so far.
If India win the first round, they will clash with the winner of the other first round between Uzbekistan and Korea. If it’s against Uzbekistan, it will be a home tie again but it will be an away fixture if it’s against Korea for the second round, scheduled for April 7-9.
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