Davis Cup tie to be played in Chennai during day: Khanna

April 8th, 2009 - 8:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Davis Cup Chennai, April 8 (IANS) The Davis Cup tie between India and Australia, scheduled to be held here May 8-10, will be played during the day, notwithstanding the searing summer heat, All India Tennis Association (AITA) secretary-general Anil Khanna said.
According to Khanna, the Indian players have asked for a 10 am start of the tie despite the oppressive summer heat and humidity in May.

“There is no heat rule in Davis Cup, but the first match has to start not earlier than 9 am and not later than 4 pm. We are aware of the weather conditions in Chennai in May, but we also have to respect what the players want,” Khanna said in a press briefing here Wednesday.

The Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) president M.A. Alagappan said the spectators might be provided with some overhead covering to protect them from the sun.

However, given the heat and humidity at that time of the year in the city when temperatures routinely cross 40 degrees celsius during the afternoon, the spectator turnout could be thin, Alagappan admitted.

Khanna was confident that Chennai will prove to be the ideal venue to host the Australians, considering the performance of singles players Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna as well as the doubles specialist Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi in the season opener ATP Chennai Open, which was held in the first week of January.

Somdev reached the final of the event earlier this year while Paes and Bhupathi have won the four doubles titles. Bopanna, too, has been a regular in the event.

“We will be officially announcing the team, maybe, 10 days prior to the tie, but it is more than likely that Somdev, Bopanna, Paes and Bhupathi would be our choice. We might also have Yuki Bhambri, the winner of junior Australian Open title, besides a few left-handed players to provide practice to our players,” Khanna said.

Incidentally, Chennai last hosted a Davis Cup tie in 1979, also in the summer.

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