We don't have a problem playing on grass: Barazzutti

Indo Asian News Service

Kolkata, Jan 30 (IANS) Terming Italy favourites on paper, non-playing captain Corrado Barazzutti on Wednesday said contrary to India's perception grass will not be a problem when the two sides lock horns in a Davis Cup World Group tie here.

The grass courts of South Club were chosen as the venue as Indian non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi was keen to play on grass considering that the Italians are solid hard court players.

"India decided to play here as they think grass is more difficult for us. But it's not a problem," Barazzutti told reporters at the pre-draw press conference.

"Davis Cup is a special tie and there are no underdogs. Players play for their nations. It's always very difficult to play. Every nation is very strong when we play Davis Cup. Every player gives something more in this kind of tournament. Maybe we are favourites on paper but on court it is difficult," said the 65-year old, who was part of the 1976 victorious Davis Cup team.

The Italians, spearheaded by World No. 19 Marco Cecchinato, trained at the Centre Court for an hour.

Asked about the surface, Barazzutti informed that the Centre Court was faster than the practice one.

"Grass usually has bad bounce. There's a difference between practice court and centre court. Centre court is much faster. That's something we know and we expect. We did not expect something different.

"The Italian team has not played on grass too much. Next time, we play against them, we play on clay," he joked.

While none among the Italians have played the Davis Cup on grass, for the hosts their top-ranked player Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Divij Sharan, who is likely to partner Rohan Bopanna in the doubles, too haven't played on grass.

Prajnesh however, had upset now World No. 25 Denis Shapovalov on grass at the Stuttgart Open last year.

--IANS

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