Davis Cup: India to take on Canada in away tie in World Group play-offs after Uzbekistan win

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India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan in action in the Davis Cup Asia Oceania group tie against Uzbekistan. AFP

New Delhi: India will have to fight it out with Canada in an away tie for a place in the elite 16-nation World Group when the play-offs take place from 15 to 17 September.

It will be first ever clash between the two teams in Davis Cup history.

India qualified for the play-offs for the fourth straight year after beating Uzbekistan 4-1 in a home tie last week while Canada had lost 2-3 to Great Britain in the World Group first round in February.

“It will be a fun tie. They have some top players, which will challenge our boys to play at a higher level,” India’s non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi told PTI.

Canada boast of world number six Milos Raonic in their line-up but the 2016 Wimbledon runner-up had missed the last tie against Britain due to an injury.

Vasek Pospisil, ranked 119, had led the Canadian attack and they had lost the tie in a freak manner. In the deciding fifth set, trailing two sets to love, Canada’s Denis Shapovalov (ranked 172), out of frustration hit a ball which struck the umpire in the face and the tie was awarded to Great Britain.

Canada have another player in top-150 in Peter Polansky, who is ranked 127.

India had no problem in dispatching lower-ranked Uzbekistan players. Prajnesh Gunneswaran and N Sriram Balaji made good debuts but the spotlight went to unending Leander Paes-Mahesh Bhupathi saga, who yet again fought publically over team selection.

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