Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Saketh Myneni and Indian captain Rohit Rajpal represented the team at the Pre draw press conference before the World Group Playoffs between India and Norway at Lillehammer. The tie is to be played at Indoor Hard courts on 16th and 17th September.
The team answered a couple of questions put forward by ITD –
Q) Given you have been in Norway for a few days now how do you assess the preparation so far?
PG – We have been here for a good number of days now and we were in Oslo for a few days and the team has now gotten to Lillehammer and I think we are all well prepared in getting used to the conditions. We are looking forward to the tie.
Q) Team had a chance to practice at the actual venue. How do you view the playing arena and the conditions?
PG – I think it’s quite suitable it’s not an extremely fast surface and a lot of us like the surface here. I think many years ago, the Indian team always wanted the courts to be extremely fast but the older generation has changed and a lot of players like these kinds of conditions. So I think it suits both the teams so it just depends on who comes out playing better on the given day.
Q) Any thoughts on the playing composition for the first day ?
RR – Like I said we had team meeting this evening and we’ve been playing a lot of sets and lot of matches between players and I think tonight we are going to be doing our final strategy about who’s going to be playing singles day after tomorrow.
Q) During the Davis Cup tie against Denmark, with an eye on the future, you had young players like Digvijay Singh and Niki Poonacha being included as reserves. Have we considered a similar setup for this tie ?
RR – This time we have 6 members, we have Sasikumar Mukund as a reserve at the moment. You know Sumit Nagal has also made a comeback. So we are 6 of us at the moment here and its more than enough and it’s an away tie and normally we encourage in Indian tie we always call two of the most promising juniors and the guys who are knocking around and that we feel would be available or good to play in the next couple of years to get a feel of Davis cup. But in the away time it’s expensive and difficult also because this week we have only one court and so it is difficult to get 6 of us enough tennis and there is no point in trying to bring more players and have them sit around, that’s why.
Q) We had Rohan Bopanna pull out due to injury. How does it impact the balance of the team ?
RR – Well not having Rohan obviously is a bit disappointing as a captain because he not only been a great doubles player and a grand slam winner and a playing legend in our team but other than playing also he brings a lot of value to the team in terms of advise his presence and all of that. But I am extremely grateful to Saketh Myneni because we came to know a bit last minute of Rohan’s inability to come and you know I am extremely grateful and thankful to Saketh to really make himself available and all it took was a call and he was ready to move and he is here and he is practicing hard. Saketh has played doubles in 6 tournaments I the last few weeks with Yuki and yeah so hopefully they will do the job for us.