Davis Cup LIVE – India vs Finland LIVE: India starts their Davis Cup campaign on Friday against Finland. This is the first time India will play in the World Group 1, after the format was changed in 2020. This will be the first time, India is meeting Finland in the Davis Cup, a team that will field higher ranked players. Finland is to be a tough task, the draw on Thursday came out in favour of the visitors. It will be Prajnesh (ranked 165) who will open the tie for India with a match against Otto Virtanen (ranked 419).
Davis Cup LIVE: India takes on resolute Finland in World Group 1 first round tie, follow LIVE Updates
Davis Cup LIVE – India vs Finland LIVE: Finland boasts of some of the top players.
– There is the 22-year-old Emil Ruusuvuori – who has beaten the likes of Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev – who is the highest ranked singles player in the tie, 74.
– Their doubles team consists of World No 76 (in doubles) Harri Heliovaara and former No 1 Henri Kontinen (currently 46), who won the 2016 Wimbledon mixed doubles and 2017 Australian Open men’s doubles title.
– Their weakest link on paper is 20-year-old Otto Virtanen, ranked 419 & higher ranked Prajnesh needs to take advantage of the same in the opening tie.
Davis Cup LIVE – India vs Finland LIVE: Prajnesh vs Otto Virtanen LIVE in 1st match:
Prajnesh gets close to wins with his talent but has the tendency of giving up advantageous positions, like the one against Borna Coric in the last tie against Croatia.
Maybe it’s the pressure of playing for the flag but the left-hander from Chennai insists it is not the case.
“Matches against good players are always close if I’m playing well. I have won matches against good players being in the lead and I have also lost matches being in the lead. That’s just the way they go,” Prajnesh told PTI.
“Matches which are closely fought can go either way. There is no pressure of playing for India that influences me…Sometimes there’s more pressure, other times that’s less.
“Again, just depends on how well I cope on that particular day,” he added.
But now is the opportunity for him to put India ahead.
Davis Cup LIVE: India takes on resolute Finland in World Group 1 first round tie on Friday, follow LIVE Updates
Davis Cup LIVE – India vs Finland LIVE: If Ramkumar can play the same way he competed against 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic in the previous tie against Croatia and does not miss the chances he gets, India will have a very good chance in the tie.
As the second-best ranked player from India, Ramkumar is up against Finland’s number one player Emil Ruusuvuori, who is placed 74 in the world, on the opening day of the tie.
Ramkumar is taking the court for the second singles and will have a pretty good idea how he should approach the match against Ruusuvuori after Prajnesh’s game.
India considered the doubles point in their pocket till the time Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi competed together but now things have changed.
Davis Cup: India look to topple resolute Finland in first round tie
Davis Cup LIVE – India vs Finland LIVE: Rohan Bopanna (44) has immense experience of the big stage and he needs to use all of that to shepherd the team with Divij Sharan (86) since their opponents — Henri Kontinen (ranked 46) and Harri Heliovaara (ranked 76) — will be a tough nut to crack on Saturday.
Rohan Bopanna and Sharan have played only one tie together, winning against Italy in March 2019.
Most of 40-year-old Rohan Bopanna’s doubles wins have come either with either Paes or Saketh Myneni.
It remains to be seen if captain Rohit Rajpal fields Rohan Bopanna with Sharan or Myneni, who is the fifth member of the squad.
Kontinen has played three of the four Grand Slams this year with Edouard Roger-Vasselin but paired with Heliovaara at the US Open, probably to get ready for this tie.
They had a decent first round before losing in a close three-set match.
The reverse singles will also be played on Saturday.
Davis Cup- India vs Finland: Non-playing captain Rohit Rajpal feels that the conditions are not entirely in the favour of the hosts since the low bounce of the courts will benefit the Indian players, who can play the chip-and-charge game to counter their rivals.
Rajpal is pretty happy with the draw.
“We are glad that our number one player is opening the tie. If Prajnesh plays to his potential, we should go up 1-0 and then their number one player will be under pressure, so we are quite happy with the draw,” said Rajpal.
Davis Cup LIVE – India vs Finland LIVE: Talking about Ramkumar, he said,”Ram is a versatile player. we are preparing him nicely, we have a strategy in place for this match. I am sure he will do the job for India,” he said.
Davis Cup LIVE – India vs Finland LIVE: Prajnesh vs Otto Virtanen LIVE in 1st match – Follow live updates