In one of twelve Davis Cup Qualifiers ties that will take place on Friday and Saturday, India hosts Italy at the Calcutta South Club in Kolkata on grass court, hoping for a positive outcome and a chance to secure a ticket for Davis Cup finals in Madrid in November.
Without Fabio Fognini, the hopes of the Italian squad rest on Andreas Seppi and Matteo Berrettini who will play singles rubbers against Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan. Seppi and Ramanathan will kick off the action on Friday morning and it should be an exciting clash between two players who know how to deliver the best tennis on the fastest surface, with the Italian reaching three ATP finals on grass and the Indian who was in the title match in Newport last year.
In his post-draw interview, Andreas praised his rival and his abilities on grass, fully aware he will need the best tennis to prevail and secure the opening point for his country. The Italian confirmed the grass is much different in comparison to the one we have at Wimbledon but he believes in his team and their chances of scoring an away tie and punching Madrid ticket.
Seppi has played 43 Davis Cup matches since 2004 but never on grass. “Ramkumar has played a few times on grass and he can be very good on this surface. He played the final in Newport and also some other good tournaments on grass,” Seppi said.
“So of course he is dangerous. He does play the serve and volley game, so it’s not going to be easy. But then, every match is difficult and I am looking forward to the tie. We need to win three points so it doesn’t matter who is bringing it.
My match is the first one so it would be good to bring the lead for Italy. I will try my best and hopefully I can get the first point. We just had a couple of days of practice. The courts are not like Wimbledon, it’s different grass for sure and it’s not so perfect.
Anyway, we have to play here and we will try our best. It’s going to be my first match and it’s going to be a tough match on grass. We played just few weeks during the year. We did a great practice and we are ready to play.
Davis Cup is a special event and we are really excited to play. I am also excited as it’s my first time. We both are in the same situation. India hasn’t played on grass for more than five years I think. So there is no problem. We have players who can play well on grass. We don’t complain and we are here to play”.