ITF prepones Davis Cup tie in September to avoid clash with Asian Games: AITA
India will be able to field its best players at both Davis Cup and the Asian Games as the ITF has preponed the team tournament to avoid its clash with the regional showpiece in China.
India will be able to field its 'A' team at both Davis Cup and the Asian Games with the ITF preponing the team tournament and ATF pushing back the tennis events at the regional multi-sport showpiece by eight days to avoid a clash in dates.
The Indian Davis Cup team was recently drawn to meet Norway in an away contest, which was to be held either on September 16-17 or 17-18. The tennis events at the Asian Games were scheduled to be held from September 10-14, which meant that India could play only one event with its 'A' team since reaching Hangzhou in China from Davis Cup venue Norway was not practically possible.
However, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) and the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) managed to convince the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to revise the dates. The Davis Cup tie between India and Norway and that of nine other Asian nations will now be held on September 14-15 while the ATF itself rescheduled the tennis event at the Asian Games to September 18-24.
"The ATF has communicated to AITA that ITF has revised the dates of Davis Cup ties, involving 10 Asian Nations in World Group I and II, so that it does not clash with the tennis events at the Asian Games," AITA Secretary General Anil Dhupar told PTI.
"India's Davis Cup tie will now be played on September 14-15. "ATF has also pushed back dates of tennis event at Asian Games to avoid clash," Dhupar added. It has been learnt that ITF President David Haggerty himself wrote to AITA President Anil Jain, conveying the ITF's decision to revise the dates. AITA wanted the tie to be postponed to November 2022 but that proposal was rejected even as it agreed to revise the dates.
According to AITA sources, efforts are still on to convince ITF to allow all 10 Asian nations in World Group I and II, where home-and-away tie format is followed, to host the ties. "It will be challenging for the Asian nations to travel to far off European countries for Davis Cup and then spend two days to reach China. Like for India, even if we take flight on the night September 15, we will not reach China before September 17 and competition starts from September 18.
That's tough on players," said India Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali. India's top player Yuki Bhambri felt that preparations for Asian Games will suffer because of the tight scheduling but still it's better to be able to play both events. India and Norway, who have world number eight Casper Ruud in their ranks, have never clashed in the history of Davis Cup. Their next best player is Viktor Durasovic, who is placed 329 in ATP singles chart.
"It's not the best preparation for the Asian Games but I would rather play both events than having to choose one, so kudos to the organisation," said Yuki. Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Japan and India feature in World Group I while China, Lebanon, Thailand, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and Indonesia feature in World Group II in this year's September ties. Korea and Kazakhstan are part of the Davis Cup Finals and there is no change in dates for their matches.