Davis Cup Qualifier 2019: Grass court makes tie tougher for us, says Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti

  • The higher-ranked Italians should be favourites to win the tie but India opting to play on grass has opened up the contest.

  • With seven rubbers, doubles specialist Rohan Bopanna has the maximum experience of playing on grass.

Kolkata: Italy's Davis Cup captain Corrado Barazzutti on Wednesday acknowledged that playing on the "unfamiliar" grass court will be their biggest challenge in the Qualifier against hosts India.

The higher-ranked Italians should be favourites to win the tie but India opting to play on grass has opened up the contest.

 Davis Cup Qualifier 2019: Grass court makes tie tougher for us, says Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti

Representational image. Reuters

"That is the court and we have nothing to complain," Barazzutti, who was a member of their only Davis Cup winning team of 1976, said.

"India decided to play here as they think grass is more difficult for us. The Italian team has not played a lot on grass but it is okay. We know we have to play very well. We play this match with a lot of respect for these players."

No one in the Italy squad has played a Davis Cup tie on grass and same is the case with India's top-ranked player Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Divij Sharan, who is set to partner Rohan Bopanna in the doubles.

Prajnesh, however, had played current World No 25 Denis Shapovalov on grass at the Stuttgart Open last year.

Ramkumar Ramanathan, India's second-highest ranked player, has played on grass once and so has Saketh Myneni.

With seven rubbers, doubles specialist Rohan Bopanna has the maximum experience of playing on grass.

"For India, it is the first time after many years they would play (Davis Cup) on grass. Grass is not too much on the tour, we dont't play too much," said the Italy captain.

Barazzutti looked satisfied with the centre court as it was faster than the practice courts.

"Grass usually has bad bounce. There's a difference between practice court and centre court. Centre court is much faster.

"Weather conditions are also just perfect. It's much better than Australia, at least. It's 44 (degrees) there. In Italy, it's very cold. So, nothing to complain," he said, referring to the recently concluded Australian Open in Melbourne.

Updated Date: Jan 30, 2019 20:07:19 IST