Sumit Nagal, Sasi Kumar Mukund set to snub Davis Cup tie against Pakistan
India's top tennis players, Sumit Nagal and Sasi Kumar Mukund, declined the Pakistan Davis Cup, citing court preferences and personal reasons.
India's top two singles players, Sumit Nagal and Sasi Kumar Mukund, have declined to participate in the upcoming Davis Cup tie against Pakistan.
The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has expressed its discontent and plans to discuss the players' refusal at its next executive committee meeting.
Nagal, India's highest-ranked singles player at number 141 in the ATP chart, reportedly cited discomfort with the grass court surface as his reason for not participating while Mukund attributed his decision to "personal reasons," without providing further details, as reported by PTI.
The absence of these key players poses a challenge for India in the World Group I play-off tie scheduled for February. With Rohan Bopanna already retired, the responsibility of leading the team falls on Ramkumar Ramanathan, known for his effective 'serve and volley' style.
The upcoming tie against Pakistan will determine the team's status in World Group I for the year 2024.
AITA Secretary General Anil Dhupar expressed dissatisfaction with the players' decisions, emphasizing the importance of national duty. He stated that such refusals are not acceptable, especially considering Mukund's history of making himself unavailable for national duty.
The AITA is contemplating the possibility of implementing a Davis Cup selection policy, highlighting the need for players to prioritize representing India. The Executive Committee will deliberate on the matter, suggesting potential repercussions for the players' decisions.
Efforts to shift the tie's location away from Pakistan have been unsuccessful, with the Davis Cup Committee rejecting AITA's appeal. Despite security concerns in the past, Pakistan is eager to host the Indian team, emphasizing the importance of fostering good neighborly relations through sports.
If India decides to travel, it will mark the Davis Cup team's first visit across the border in 59 years, and only the third in the history of the team tournament.
The last time an Indian Davis Cup team visited Pakistan was in 1964, resulting in a comprehensive 4-0 victory for the visitors. Pakistan has visited India thrice, with India maintaining an undefeated record in all eight Davis Cup ties between the two nations.