Yuki Bhambri to start India's Davis Cup campaign against Serbia

Yuki Bhambri and Dusan Lajovic will open the proceedings, playing the first singles in the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie between India and Serbia beginning here Friday

Bangalore: Yuki Bhambri will open India's Davis Cup campaign against Serbia, drawn against visiting side's number two player Dusan Lajovic for the first singles match of the World Group playoff tie, beginning here tomorrow.

The second singles match will be played between India's Somdev Devvarman and Filip Krajinovic. The first match will begin at 3 pm and the second from 6.30 pm.

Yuki Bhambri. Pic/Getty Images

On the second day of the tie, ace Indian tennis player Leander Paes will combine with local star Rohan Bopanna against the Serbian pair of Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac.

While on the last day of the tie, Devvarman will play Lajovic in the fourth rubber and Bhambri will face Krajinovic in the second reverse singles.

The first reverse singles will commence from 4 pm and and the fifth rubber will start after 6.30 pm.

The nominations for the doubles and reverse singles can be changed up to one hour before scheduled start.

Indian non-playing captain Anand Amritraj said he was happy with Yuki starting the tie for India.

Asked whether India will target Krajinovic, Amritraj said they are not targeting anyone as both are equally good players.

"I have seen them practice. They are equally good. Just need to go out and play and hope for the best. No we are not
targetting anyone ... It depends entirely on the day," he said.

Asked whether he is happy with playing matches in evenings, Amritraj said, "Personally I would have opted for playing in the morning, and in Davis Cup normally matches are played in the mornings. However, we agreed to the wishes of the Bangalore organisers and we are ready for it."

Devvarman said both the teams are evenly matched. He described Krajinovic as a very good player. "There is a chance for both teams as both are evenly matched and I think Krajinovic is a very good and informed player. Even I have been playing well. I am going to put my best foot forward," he said.

The Indian said playing in Shanghai has helped him become match fit.

"It was a good decision to have played in Shanghai. I am feeling healthy, match sharp and fit, and I am looking forward to the match," he added. Replying to yet another query, Devvarman said he played against Krajinovic twice before in 2009 and 2010.

"The first match I won in a three-set game and the next I went down," he said. Asked what would be Serbia's approach in the tie in
the absence of world number one Novak Djokovic, non-playing captain Bogdan Obradovic said it did not matter much.

"It does not matter who is playing. The team needs to be prepared and has to play point by point, set by set and that's all that
matters," he said.

On evening starts in Davis Cup, Obradovic said they agreed to it after the organisers explained things from the broadcasting and
marketing points of view.

"ITF (International Tennis Federation) and local television and television world over are doing their job and we need to adapt to
their requirements of marketing and broadcasting benefits," he said.

Replying to a query on playing conditions, Obradovic said this factor is unchangeable and teams need to adapt to the situation.

"However, it is going to be very tough for the teams," he added.

Asked whether there was added pressure on his team because of the fear of getting ousted from the world group If they lost the tie, Obradovic said his team is one of the best in the world at the moment because they have been playing well in the absence of Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic.

On his first singles match against Yuki, Lajovic said his team has a good chance and would go in focused.

The draw:

Friday (Singles): Yuki Bhambri vs Dusan Lajovic (3 p.m.) followed by Somdev Devvarman vs Filip Krajinovic.

Saturday (Doubles): Leander Paes / Rohan Bopanna vs Nenad Zimonjic/Ilija Bozoljac, from 6.30 p.m.

Sunday (Reverse singles): Devvarman vs Lajovic, (4 p.m.), followed by Bhambri vs Krajinovic.

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