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Davis Cup: India to host Italy in a grass court tie in Kolkata

Davis Cup: India to host Italy in a grass court tie in Kolkata

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Published: 14 Nov 2018 2:43 AM GMT
Come February and the city of Kolkata will be treated to the cream of Indian tennis as they'll play host to the Davis Cup Finals tie between India and Italy. Specifically, South Club in Kolkata will be playing host to the fixture as was announced by the All India Tennis Association yesterday. The venue was announced after two key exemptions were sanctioned for the AITA by its international parent body the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The ITF Rules state that Group ties or Playoff ties can only be played in courts with fixed specifications: the space behind the baseline should 27 feet and a seating capacity of 4000 is a must. Only DLTA and the centre court at Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Academy fulfil the requirements but neither of them have grass courts. A grass court game is what non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi is clear on given that the Italians are hard-court players predominantly. “This is what we wanted as a group. We feel our best chance of beating Italy is on grass, so we are glad that AITA made it happen. Now we need to make use of this opportunity,” Mahesh Bhupathi was quoted as saying by PTI. “Playing Italy on hard courts would have been suicidal with their six players in top-100. We have to disrupt them and playing on grass in hard court season will disrupt their plans. We believe we have a chance,” Bhupathi added. “We had written to ITF, asking for these exemptions because we wanted to play on grass. South Club courts have space of 21 feet behind the baseline and we can create stands to accommodate up to 3000 fans. ITF agreed on this,” AITA Secretary Hironmoy Chatterjee told PTI. “We had also asked for change in dates but they did not agree on that. We wanted the tie on Saturday and Sunday as against Friday and Saturday,” he added. The ties will take place over February 1-2.
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