We will nail Japan in Davis Cup tie: Paes

April 10th, 2008 - 3:22 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) India’s Davis Cup captain Leander Paes Thursday said he was confident of wrapping up the Davis Cup tie against Japan without going to the fifth match. India and Japan clash in the Asia-Oceania Group I second round tie in the event beginning here Friday. If India win, it will see them progressing to the World Group play-off after 10 years.

“I don’t think it will go to the fifth match. I have a gut feeling about that. But if it does, we are up for the challenge,” Paes told reporters at the draw ceremony at a hotel Thursday.

“We would like to seize the initiative and go up 2-0 on the first day,” he added.

The veteran Davis Cupper said with home advantage and the surface on their side, India had an edge over the young and inexperienced Japanese side.

“Davis Cup is all about experience, especially if you are playing away from home. But what will work in Japan’s favour is Kei Nishikori’s form in singles matches,” said Paes.

India’s ace doubles player Mahesh Bhupathi also aired the same feeling. “Our boys are lot more comfortable on grass. Although the Japanese are ranked higher than us, we have an advantage on grass surface and (in this) weather.”

Japanese captain Eiji Takeuchi thought differently. He said notwithstanding the weather conditions and the surface he was confident of his team’s victory.

“We came here to win and we are pretty sure about our chances,” said Takeuchi. “We checked the surface two days ago and it looked perfect. The surface is fair for both the sides.”

Asked about the non-participation of veteran Takao Suzuki in the singles matches, he said: “The weather will be very hot and humid, so it would have been tough for Suzuki to play three days on trot. So we decided to divide the players.”

Meanwhile, teenage Japanese sensation Nishikori, who makes his Davis Cup debut against Rohan Bopanna Friday, sounded confident.

“I saw him (Bopanna) many time in the Challengers in US. I know his game pretty well and I am ready for the task,” he said.

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