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Davis Cup 2024: Sumit Nagal Can 'Grind Off' Sweden On Clay Courts, Says Ramkumar

The Indian Davis Cup team will travel to Sweden, en route to its first win over the European nation in the sixth clash between the two sides. Meanwhile, ATP ranked 111, Ramkumar Ramanathan is confident that India can easily tackle the Swedish Challenge despite the hosts' choice of clay court

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Sumit Nagal won the ATP Chennai Open 2024 without dropping a set. (Photo: ATP Challenger Tour)
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Bengaluru, Feb 15 (PTI) Ramkumar Ramanathan says the Indian Davis Cup team is well-equipped to tackle the challenge of Sweden even if the hosts choose to play on clay courts in the September tie. (More Tennis News)

The Indian team will travel to Sweden, hoping to get its first win over the European nation in the sixth clash between the two sides.

Ramkumar said their familiarity with the game style of Sweden players will also stand them in good stead.

India qualified for the World Group after beating Pakistan 4-0 recently in the playoffs held in Islamabad.

"I am sure they are going to play on clay. But we have been playing some unbelievable tennis and then there is Sumit Nagal, and I think he can grind them off, and I am sure he is very fit too," Ramkumar told media here during the felicitation ceremony of Davis Cup players organised by the KSLTA.

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"Rankings don't matter on court because it comes down to how well we play on that particular day. You have seen how Aisam (ul-Haq Quershi of Pakistan) performed (in the Davis Cup), right?

The function was also attended by N Sriram Balaji, Saketh Myneni, Nikki Poonacha and Sunil Yajaman, the joint secretary of KSLTA.

Ramkumar also hoped to polish his singles skills further ahead of the Sweden tie.

"Sweden is a great team and they have some very good players like Elias (Ymer, a world No. 160).

"I am looking forward to play some good singles in the next few months. I have played Elias and he is a very skilled player. He has an unbelievable backhand and plays some very consistent tennis from the baseline. So, we know a few things about them and we need to use them.

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"It is going to be a close contest, but I am sure we have an edge in doubles," said Ramkumar.

Even though Rohan Bopanna no longer competes in the Davis Cup, India have a formidable doubles contingent with Yuki Bhambri, Sriram Balaji, Vijay Prashanth and Anirudh Chandrasekhar featuring inside top 100 rankings.

‘Bopanna is phenomenal’

Ramkumar also lauded Bopanna, who recently climbed to world No. 1 spot in doubles rankings.

"It is a phenomenal job, as being number one in the world is spectacular. It is not easy at all. I have to congratulate him for all the hard work and sacrifices he has done.

"Indian tennis and Indian players can look up to him for what he has achieved and I am sure he will inspire several players,” said Ramkumar, a former doubles partner of Bopanna.

The players also reminisced about their first-ever trip to Pakistan and rated it as a memorable experience on and off the field.

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