New Delhi, Apr 11 (PTI) India will have to fight it out with Canada in an away tie for a place in the elite 16-nation World Group when the play-offs take place from September 15 to 17.
It will be first ever clash between the two teams in Davis Cup history.
India qualified for the play-offs for the fourth straight year after beating Uzbekistan 4-1 in a home tie last week while Canada had lost 2-3 to Great Britain in the World Group first round in February.
“It will be a fun tie. They have some top players, which will challenge our boys to play at a higher level,” India’s non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi told PTI.
Canada boast of world number six Milos Raonic in their line-up but the 2016 Wimbledon runner-up had missed the last tie against Britain due to an injury.
Vasek Pospisil, ranked 119, had led the Canadian attack and they had lost the tie in a freak manner. In the deciding fifth set, trailing two sets to love, Canada’s Denis Shapovalov (ranked 172), out of frustration hit a ball which struck the umpire in the face and the tie was awarded to Great Britain.
Canada have another player in top-150 in Peter Polansky, who is ranked 127.
India had no problem in dispatching lower-ranked Uzbekistan players. Prajnesh Gunneswaran and N Sriram Balaji made good debuts but the spotlight went to unending Leander Paes-Mahesh Bhupathi saga, who yet again fought publically over team selection.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.