India-South Africa Davis Cup tie likely at select venue

May 13th, 2009 - 4:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Davis Cup By Fakir Hassen
Johannesburg, May 13 (IANS) Hopes of residents of Soweto, the largest township in South Africa, that they may see Indian tennis stars like Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi in action there in September may be slim.

The Davis Cup tennis fight for a position in the World Group between India and South Africa may be played at the prestigious Emperors Palace here if a sponsor can be found in time, organisers said.

The two countries were drawn in London Tuesday for the tourney Sep 18-20 this year.

Locals expressed hopes that after South Africa beat Belarus in Soweto at the weekend in a Euro-Africa Group One tie, the India-South Africa clash would also take place there.

But South African Tennis Association (SATA) chairman Johann Koorts told the Afrikaans daily Beeld here that this would be “unlikely, though not impossible.”

The Belarus games had taken place in Soweto because facilities had already been in place after the Soweto Open recently, but all these matches had drawn poor crowds.

Koorts said negotiations would be started with Emperors Palace, a popular entertainment resort here, to host the Indian visit if a sponsor for the television broadcast could be found.

Although costs were still being worked out, it could cost between 700,000 and 1.5 million rands to host the Indian visitors.

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