Supriya Saxena, New Delhi | Norway Davis Cup : There’s a lot of hope and anticipation amongst the fans as India and Norway are going to lock horns for the first time in the history of Davis cup. Ahead of the team’s departure to Norway, in an exclusive chat on Davis Cup special programme powered by Dafa News on ITV Network, India’s captain Rohit Rajpal spoke about their chances, preparation and so on and forth.
Q. How is the team composition this time?
A. This time we have another two additions to the team which is, Sasikumar and Sumit Nagal have made a comeback. You know, he went through a hip surgery, which is why he was not available for the last tie. He’s recovering well, working hard with the physios. So, it adds more value to the team certainly.
Q. For the first time India and Norway are facing head to head, your reactions on the same.
A. I was hoping that we would have won the toss. In Davis Cup rules is that if you’ve not played each other before, then there is a toss and unfortunately, we lost the toss, so, we have to go to Norway and they have the advantage to choose the surface. Had it been here. It would’ve been a different story.
We would’ve certainly chosen grass. Which is our strength, but now we have to go and play. Once we get there, we will check out what kind of court they’ve prepared for us, where are they going to take us? It’s important to get there early and get a feel for the local condition. Then accordingly we can plan.
Q. This time Norway has Casper Ruud world number 8 and also Victor who is currently ranking 329 in singles. What challenges do you see?
A. Rudd is going to be a tough one for us to be very honest. He’s going to play two of our singles players, those will be the two matches which are going to be tough. The other thing is that it’s a very even kind of tie on paper. Doubles are going to play a very important role. So, we have Rohan who’s done well.
He was a French opener earlier and he’s won a couple of good tournaments. So, we are really, sort of hopeful. It’s a 50, 50 chance for both the teams. It depends, how well prepared is your team? My team has been sharp. The boys are on the tour, so they’re playing a lot of tournaments, which keeps them on their toes.
I’m sure Norwegians would have prepared the court according to their liking, whether they want to slow it down more, like in the previous types we’ve seen that other countries slow down the courts, which our players don’t like at all.
So, we want to see how slow the courts will be, what kind of balls will be used and stuff like that. The match is going to be indoors as we’ve been told. So, we want to go and see the stadium, get a feel for it. That’s why we are starting early to get there and prepare a great hit.
Q. Former number 83, Yuki Bhambri, made a comeback after an injury. And now he’s currently ranking 648. What expectations you have out of him
A. I always have a lot of expectations from Yuki. He’s definitely one of our top singles players and he played tremendously well last time, as well against Denmark. Yuki can beat any player in the world. I really believe that.
I’m really hoping that he’s going to be in very good shape during this time because, like I said, there are four singles and one doubles. So, the singles guys really need to come through this time for us and to be able to cause some damage.