LUCKNOW: Buoyed by his runner-up finish in men's doubles at the recently concluded US Open, Rohan Bopanna will make a quick air dash to India and will join the Indian squad on Wednesday for the crucial Davis Cup World Group II play-offs fixture against Morocco scheduled to take place in Lucknow on Saturday and Sunday.
The two-day encounter, which will secure the winner a place in the World Group I Playoffs, will be played at the Vijayant Khand Mini Stadium in Gomti Nagar, Lucknow.
The 43-year-old Bopanna, who is currently seventh in the world in doubles rankings, etched his name in the history books last week by becoming the oldest player to compete in a Grand Slam doubles final at the US Open. He and his Australian partner Matthew Ebden lost to Rajeev Ram of the United States and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain in the final.
All India Tennis Association (AITA) President Anil Jain expressed his admiration for the tennis veteran and said: “The Davis Cup is a prestigious tournament and has witnessed many legendary moments. This tie in Lucknow is a momentous occasion for all of us. On behalf of AITA and all tennis enthusiasts in the country, we congratulate Rohan Bopanna and we all are eagerly waiting to witness him serving one last time for India at the Davis Cup. We applaud his dedication and the way he played at the US Final and honoured the spirit of the game.”
Besides Bopanna, the six-member Indian Davis Cup squad features a formidable line-up that includes the country’s top-ranked singles player Sumit Nagal along with Sasikumar Mukund, Digvijay Pratap Singh, Yuki Bhambri and Ramkumar Ramanathan.
“Rohan Bopanna will join the team’s training on Wednesday. He has been part of the Indian Davis Cup since 2002 and his presence brings invaluable experience to the squad. We have a well-balanced team that combines experience and youth, and we are confident in our team’s ability to perform at its best,” Rajpal, the non-playing captain of the Indian Davis Cup team and also the Executive Committee Member of the Indian Olympic Association, commented as he offered insight into the squad’s preparation.
Rajpal along with other AITA officials also met the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath and honoured him with the first ticket of the tie, inviting him to witness the exciting action live. The draw ceremony will be conducted on Friday.
“We are grateful to the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Yogi Adityanath Ji who has consented to conduct the draw ceremony himself at his official residence on Friday. It’s going to be an action-packed weekend for Indian tennis enthusiasts and especially fans here in Lucknow to witness Indian stars live in action.
"This central location will attract tennis lovers from all over Uttar Pradesh. We thank the government for their support in hosting this Davis Cup tie, celebrating the game of tennis and also putting up a memorable send-off for Rohan Bopanna,” said Anil Dhupar, AITA Secretary General.
The Davis Cup, the oldest and the premier international men’s tennis team competition in the world with a rich history of more than 120 years witnesses the participation of more than 135 countries.
A Davis Cup tie consists of five matches —four singles and one double match — and the team that wins at least three of them will secure the tie.
A win here will ensure India’s place in the 2024 Davis Cup World Group I Play-offs. The matches will begin at noon on Saturday while on Sunday, play will start at 11 am.