India’s Davis Cup tie against Pakistan, scheduled in Islamabad on September 14-15, will go ahead despite the political tension between the two countries over Jammu and Kashmir, All India Tennis Association (AITA) secretary-general Hironmoy Chatterjee said on Monday.
“There is no development. The tie will go ahead as scheduled. We have even selected the team,” said Chatterjee. He said politics will not have any bearing on the Davis Cup tie. “We are only concerned about the players. There is a specific norm regarding security specified by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) that the host nation has to abide (by). ITF will ensure that,” he said.
This is the first time since 1964 that India will play in Pakistan. India had won that tie 4-0 in Lahore. Pakistan Tennis Federation president Salim Saifullah Khan, in a recent interview to PTI, said the highest possible security will be provided to the visiting Indian team.
Saketh Myneni was selected in the squad announced on Monday, keeping in mind his ability to play singles and doubles. There were no surprises in the five-member squad selected. Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Ramkumar Ramanathan will lead the singles challenge while Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan will team up for doubles in the Group I tie to be played on grass. Sasi Kumar Mukund is the reserve player.
With Sumit Nagal making himself unavailable citing an injury, the five-member selection committee, led by Rohit Rajpal, picked Myneni, the next highest-ranked player. Myneni last played in September, 2018, when India travelled to Serbia for the World Group play-off, losing the doubles in straight sets partnering Bopanna, against Nikola Milojevic and Danilo Petrovic.
India have never lost to Pakistan in six Davis Cup contests and that is unlikely to change considering Pakistan does not have one singles player ranked within the top 1000 in the ATP list.
Squad: Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Saketh Myneni, Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan. Captain: Mahesh Bhupathi Coach: Zeeshan Ali.