Chennai: US Open finalist Rohan Bopanna will not figure in the doubles event of the Davis Cup World Group Play-Off tie against Brazil here on Friday as the team has decided to stick with the tried and tested duo of Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi.
“We are sticking to our world best combination of Leander and Mahesh for doubles. We have lot of options. We have an hour’s time to bring in changes in fielding players for matches. You should understand Rohan has to play two singles ties,” non playing captain S P Mishra told reporters here.
Bopanna partnered Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi to the runners-up trophy in the US Open last week.
Mishra said India has the home advantage though Brazilian singles players are higher ranked.
“We have the home advantage and our players are used to playing here and they should perform well. In Davis Cup, ranking does not matter,” he asserted.
He said a 2-0 verdict on the first day would be a dream and the Indians would try hard to achieve that.
“We have to win at least one, if not both matches at the end of the first day.”
Indian and Brazil tennis players said neither team has any distinct advantage and have equal chances of winning the tie.
Speaking to reporters, Brazil team captain Joao Zwetsch said though the Indians have the home advantage, the visitors are well prepared and have got acclimatised to conditions.
“We expect a close finish on all three days. We know India is a strong team. But we are preparing hard.We are happy about our preparation for the important tie. All our players are in good shape.
“We are ready to break the jinx of having missed out on chances since 2003. We had to be ready for taking our chances without missing them,” Zwetsch said.
Having higher ranked singles players Thomas Bellucci and Ricardo Mello was a positive point in their favour, Zwetsch said.
He said each match would be an emotional game.
“We have to convert our superior rankings on court and win the matches to be in the World Group”, he said.
Bellucci rejected suggestions that the Indians have an edge on hardcourts and said Brazil favour clay surfaces for their matches.
“I have in the last three years, particularly this season, won many matches on hard courts. I have got good results and hope we play good on this hard court here”, Bellucci said.
Asked whether the hard court was slower, Swetsch said it was similar to the US Open court.
“Our stars mostly are baseline players and they are comfortable playing here and have adjusted well to the conditions,” he said.