Chandigarh: India`s Yuki Bhambri will take on New Zealander Daniel King-Turner in the opening match of the Davis Cup first round play-off, starting here Friday, while Vishnu Vardhan will get on the court against Jose Statham in the second singles.
Vardhan is scheduled to play on all three days, according to the draw announced here Thursday. The 24-year-old Hyderabad player has tentatively been paired with Divij Sharan to play the doubles Saturday and will also play the reverse singles Sunday.
India`s non-playing captain Shiv Prakash Mishra, however, is keeping his options open and could make last-minute changes in the doubles combination as well as in the singles on the last day. This could give an opportunity to local lad Sanam Singh to figure in the tie.
"It all depends on how the opening day`s results pan out. If Yuki wins his singles in straight sets and Vishnu is taken the distance then the former could partner Sharan who is comfortable playing with both," Misra told IANS.
"Yuki will play both his singles and Sanam could come into the picture on the last day of the tie if the fifth rubber is going to be decisive. Vishnu may not be up to it if he plays an extended doubles match after the singles and in that case a fresh Sanam could be ideal for the last singles," Misra said.
Misra said Sharan had been preferred only because he had played a lot with both Vishnu and Yuki whereas Saketh Myneni had not played much with any of his teammates.
"Moreover, Divij has broken into the top 100 in the doubles rankings and also looked sharp in practice forcing the team management to prefer him."
Misra hoped that Yuki and Vishnu would pull off the opening days`s singles to make life easier for the team. That would cross out all the pre-match permutations and combinations.
"I only hope Yuki and Vishnu would win the first day`s singles, though New Zealand No.1 Statham is a highly experienced Davis Cupper having played 17 matches. One good thing is that the Indian youngsters have never run into any of the visitors anywhere on the circuit."
Misra felt that the prevailing hot humid conditions could prove decisive as the Indians were more comfortable playing here than the New Zealanders.
Yuki Bhambri vs. David King-Turner
Vishnu Vardhan vs. Jose Statham
Vishnu Vardhan/Divij Sharan vs. Artem Sitak/ Michael Venus
Yuki Bhambri vs. Jose Statham
Vishnu Vardhan vs. David King-Turner
First Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012, 19:22