The Indian Davis Cup team will fancy their chances when they play a depleted Serbian side in the Davis Cup World Group play-offs in Kraljevo Sports venue, Kraljevo, Serbia between 14th-6th September, 2018.
News from the Serbian Camp:
In the absence of 14-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic, the home team faced another blow after their ace Singles player Filip Krajinovic was ruled out of the tie due to a shoulder injury.
The Serbian contingent will field world no.56 Dusan Lajovic and Laslo Djere (86) in the singles rubbers. Without any specialist Doubles players, Nenad Zimonjic (Serbia's non-playing captain) is most likely set to field Danilo Petrovic and Nikola Milojevic.
The Indian Entourage:
India on the other hand are in a slightly dicey situation too. The team already without the injured Yuki Bhambri coupled with Asian Games Gold medalist Divij Sharan’s late withdrawal has made the All India Tennis Association (AITA) bring in world no.110 N Sriram Balaji and the Pune-born Arjun Kadhe into the squad. Mahesh Bhupathi will however have Ramkumar Ramanathan and Prajnesh Gunneswaran as the first choice singles players and go with N. Sriram Balaji most likely to partner Rohan Bopanna in Men's Doubles.
Last time it was in 2010 when India reached the main group after beating Brazil 3-2 in the World Group play-offs. Against Serbia, the Indian team have never won a Davis Cup tie dating back to 1927. In 2014, the Indian tennis team came very close but lost the tie 3-2 in Bengaluru.
Odds are still against the touring team. But Mahesh Bhupathi and his men are well capable of seeing this tie through. With Doubles being the traditional stronghold of the Indian side, it's down to a matter of two singles ties where the visitors needs to step up.
Laslo Djere vs Ramkumar Ramanathan
Dusan Lajovic vs Prajnesh Gunneswaran
Nikola Milojevic / Danilo Petrovic vs N. Sriram Balaji / Rohan Bopanna
Dusan Lajovic vs Ramkumar Ramanathan
Laslo Djere vs Prajnesh Gunneswaran
Filip Krajinovic, Dusan Lajovic, Laslo Djere, Pedja Krstin, Nikola Milojevic, Danilo Petrovic and Nenad Zimonjic (Captain).
Ramkumar Ramanathan, Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Saketh Myneni, N. Sriram Balaji, Rohan Bopanna, Arjun Kadhe and Mahesh Bhupathi (Captain).