Thursday evening in Kraljevo. The city some two hours away from Belgrade is ready for the Davis Cup playoffs. It will be the last time that both countries will compete in best-of-five matches in this traditional tournament. The draws are made, here is an overview about what happened today.
The Tennis Davis Cup coverage from Kraljevo is done in collaboration with
The Arena: Ibar Sports Center
The modern arena right at the river Ibar is ready to host the Davis Cup tomorrow. It will be a quite cozy atmosphere. Serbia put Clay in the arena, which might not be too favourable for the guests. The arena opened to the teams just on Wednesday – this is why India took a training camp in Belgrade before moving on to Kraljevo. It roughly hosts 4,000 spectator (my estimate…) – will be interesting if it will be somehow full during the matches. So far, the organizers still have quite a bunch of work to do. There was a lot of work almost anywhere.
The Draw Ceremony
There is not too much draw ceremony in Davis Cup anyway: the only decision which is taken is which number #1 will compete against which country’s #2 on the first day in singles. After both top-ranked players, Filip Krajinovic (Serbia) and Yuki Bhambri (India) pulled out, there was no more surprise in the selection: Nenad Zimonjic went for Dusan Lajovic (#56 singles ranking) and Laslo Djere (#85). The guest captain Mahesh Bhupathi nominated Ramkumar Ramanathan (#135) and Prajnesh Gunneswaran (#165). The assumed doubles tie on Saturday (lineups may be changed) will be Nikola Milojevic / Danilo Petrovic against Srinam Balaji and Rohan Bopanna. By that, Mahesh Bhupathi nominated two players, Balaji and Gunneswaran, who in fact train in Germany (Alexander Waske academy).
The draw took place in presence of David Haggerty, president of the ITF – I really wondered why he was around in Serbia and did not visit one of the semifinals. Predrag Terzic, Major of Kraljevo, selected Ramanathan, so that India’s #1 plays the potentially weaker player first. This may be seen as a small advantage for the guests. The fun fact of the draw was that India delayed the ceremony, as Secretary General Hironmoy Chatterjee arrived too late in the too small pressroom. Bhupathi just said that in the Indian Team press conference that the aim is to be in front after Saturday and then to see if an upset is possible. After Novak Djokovic pulled out, the Indian team saw a chance to have an away victory in the dead tie.
Indian Team Training Pics
I just stayed in the arena to watch the Indian team training. I left during the session, so that I mainly took pictures of Ramkumar Ramanathan – but there are some other team members as well.
Davis Cup in the City
There is not really something going on in the city regarding the Davis Cup. I happened to find a few posters, but even walking around with an India shirt, people did not talk to me. The Serbian mentality is generally less open-minded, though the people in the arena are very friendly and speak really reasonable to very good English.
Serbia vs. India Davis Cup – Other Postings
Flyctory.com offers a full coverage of the tie in Kraljevo in collaboration with Indian Tennis Daily. There was a preview posting earlier in the week illustrating why this is no playoff tie – and which teams are hoping for a final tournament 2019 spot:
- Davis Cup World Group Playoff – more complex than ever
Here are the postings from Kraljevo:
- Serbia vs. India – Preview and Draw Ceremony
- Serbia vs. India – Day 1
- Serbia vs. India – Day 2
- Serbia vs. India – Day 3
Serbia vs. India Davis Cup – Galleries
All pictures from Kraljevo are gathered in a dedicated gallery group. Here are the links to the individual galleries, split by Match:
- Serbia vs. India – Draw / Training / Preview Gallery
- Serbia vs. India – Singles #1: Djere – Ramanathan
- Serbia vs. India – Singles #2: Lajovic – Gunneswaran
- Serbia vs. India – Doubles: Milojevic / Petrovic – Bopanna / Myneni
- Serbia vs. India – Singles #3: Kristin – Balaji
Postings about Tennis
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