Two-time US Open quarter-finalist Anand Amritraj believes the hosts are firm favourites to win their Davis Cup World Group I playoff tie against Denmark on March 4 and 5 here.
But for that to happen, the Indians must exploit the Danish playe’s’ weakness on the faster grass courts of the Delhi Gymkhana Club (DGC), since the visitors prefer playing on slow hard courts or clay surfaces.
“The fact that we got the opportunity to hold matches on grass will be a massive advantage. Danish players will be used to slow hard courts or clay surfaces, and they will not prefer the faster grass courts one bit,” Amritraj opined.
“India needs to capitalise on this and prove they are superior grass players. However, it will not be a straightforward task. But I really reckon that we are firm favourites,” he added.
Anand, brother of Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj, was part of the country’s Davis Cup squad that reached the final of the ‘World Cup of Tennis’ in 1974.
The team, however, refused to take the court against South Africa due to ‘he nation’s apartheid policy. The junior Amritraj was also part of the Davis Cup team that reached the final against Sweden in 1987. Vijay was, incidentally, the captain.
Quizzed about the relevance of the Davis Cup in the current era that celebrates Grand Slam culture so much, Anand said, “Davis Cup is an emotion. It is without a doubt, the World Cup of tennis. Playing for your country is different from playing for individual milestones, and that is a novelty that is hard to come by.”
The winner of the two-day rubber will qualify for the World Group I stage that are scheduled to happen later this year.