India were on Wednesday handed a huge advantage ahead of their Davis Cup 2022 World Group I play-off tie against Denmark next week after the visiting side's top-ranked player Holger Rune pulled out of the two-day rubber. (More Tennis News)
The March 4-5 tie will be played on the fast grass courts of the Delhi Gymkhana Club (DGC) inside a strict bio-secure bubble.
World No.90 Rune, the winner of the 2019 French Open boys’ singles title, was expected to spearhead the Danish challenge against India but in his absence, seasoned doubles player Frederik Nielsen will take the responsibility. Nielsen has achieved a career-high ranking of 17 in doubles.
“Denmark team is still more than capable of doing well, despite its top player missing out on the action. We need to focus on our strengths and that will be our strategy going forward,” India's non-playing captain Rohit Rajpal said in a release.
Coach Zeeshan Ali, too, echoed similar views. “We will stick to our plan and basics and will not underestimate the Danes in any manner, whatsoever. I am sure Denmark will still prove to be tough competitors on court.”
Except for Rune, no other player from Denmark is ranked inside the Top-200 of the ATP world rankings. The presence of the ITF Junior champion (2019), Rune, would have spiced up the proceedings at the DGC, with some exciting contest expected between him and India's singles players Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan and Yuki Bhambri.
Rune also holds the distinction of being the second-youngest male player after Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz to have featured in the Top-100.
India: Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Yuki Bhambri, Rohan Bopanna, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Divij Sharan.
Reserves: Saketh Myneni and Digvijay Pratap Singh.
Denmark: Mikael Torpegaard (ranked 210), Johannes Ingildsen (ranked 805), Christian Sigsgaard (ranked 833), Elmer Moller (ranked 1708), Frederik Lochte Nielsen (captain).