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Tennis: Delhi to host World Group Play-off tie against Czech Republic

New Delhi: Agreeing to the popular demand from players, the AITA on Wednesday selected Delhi as venue for the Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie against top seeds Czech Republic, to be held from September 18-20.

AITA had shortlisted Delhi and Pune as prospective venues but the players had made their choice clear right from begining. Somdev Devvarman, Yuki Bhambri and Rohan Bopanna had expressed their wish to play at R K Khanna Tennis stadium.

According to sources, the players argued that the conditions in Pune were not favourable since it was a high altitude venue and the conditions would comparatively suit their much fancied rivals more.

The slow courts in DLTA, where Somdev has not lost a single match till date, won the bid eventually after a meeting attended by AITA President Anil Khanna, AITA Secretay general Bharat Oza and Bengal Tennis Asociation President Hironmoy Chatterjee.

"We have decided to host the tie in Delhi," Chatterjee told PTI after the meeting.

"Kolkata was another option for us and players also had no objection to that but the weather at that time in Kolkata would not be conducive (due to ongoing monsoon), so ultimately we have selected Delhi as venue," Chatterjee said.

Asked what ruled out Pune, Chatterjee explained,"the ball just flies there and the Czechs with their big serves would have loved it. We have given preference to our players. It's a tough tie so we have selected a venue which the players want. We are always with them."

India's Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali said he was happy with the choice made by AITA.

"Somdev has played a lot of good matches there and Yuki being a Delhi boy wanted to play at home. It was always a better choice for the players. We all are happy with it that AITA has agreed to players' request," Zeeshan told PTI frokm Bangalore.

Somdev won the 2010 Commonwealth Games singles gold medal and two ATP Challenger titles at the centre court of DLTA and is yet to lose a match here.

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