The famous Calcutta South Club in Kolkata will serve as the host of the first-ever Davis Cup Qualifiers tie between India and Italy on February 1-2 on grass court, with two teams fighting to earn the place at Davis Cup finals at Caja Magica in Madrid in November.
Staged just a week after the first Grand Slam of the season in Melbourne, the Indians had made the best possible decision when they went for grass, having some excellent players capable of delivering the magic on the fastest surface and knowing how inexperienced the Italians are mostly on it.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Saketh Myneni, Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan form the Indian team and they will battle against Marco Cecchinato, Andreas Seppi, Matteo Berrettini, Thomas Fabbiano and Simone Bolelli, with the captain Corrado Barazzutti fully aware of the situation and how tough it will be to pass the tie and reach Davis Cup finals.
Also, Barazzutti mentioned the fact he won the Davis Cup for Italy more than 40 years ago in the best-of-five matches, not being a supporter of the new changes and the shortened best-of-three format implemented in 2019. “In Davis Cup, good rankings give you confidence, but one has to play to win.
Many times, the rankings determine who plays first and second. Everything changes on the court. There are players in Davis Cup who play better in tournaments,” said Barazzutti. “Indians have a good team because they have quality players and are playing at home on their preferred surface — grass.
We have to play with focus and have to apply ourselves hard. I think it will be a tough tie. I played and won the Davis Cup for my country and I think the tournament was much better in the best-of-five format. Changing this format is like changing the Slam events, you put a Slam in a best-of-three format and you play one week only.
You think it is the same? Everything is getting fast, and then there is money too. But I don’t think the best players play for money. I don’t think Roger Federer plays Wimbledon, Rafael Nadal plays Roland Garros and Novak Djokovic plays Flushing Meadows for the money”.