V M Ranjeet will open India’s Davis Cup campaign against an unranked but talented Min Hyeok Cho of Korea in the Asia/Oceania Group I tie, beginning in New Delhi on Friday.
India No 2 Vijayant Malik will take on Korea No 1 Suk-Young Jeong in the second singles on day one of the tie at the R K Khanna Tennis stadium.
Surprisingly, Korea chose not to field their No 2 player Yong-Kyu Lim on day one, keeping him fresh for the doubles rubber on Saturday.
On day two, Leander Paes and Purav Raja will take on Lim and Ji Sung Nam.
On the final day of the tie, Ranjeet will play Jeong while Malik will take on Cho in the reverse singles.
India’s non-playing captain S P Misra said the draw has come out well for the hosts.
“It’s a positive draw. I always wanted our number one player (Ranjeet) to play first. If he can pull off something, it becomes easy for our second player,” he said.
Paes, the senior-most player involved in the tie, said gelling with Purav Raja will be a “true test” since they are playing for the first time together.
“Their doubles players look good. It really looks interesting for us. Purav is a fabulous player with a lot of skill and game. We need to gel well, it’s about combination and communication especially when the surface is slow and bouncing,” Paes said.
“All four players will have to bring their game together on the court. Doubles is about finding holes in the match.”
Ranjeet also looked charged up for the tie-opener saying, “Honestly, I wanted to play the first match. I was expecting to play against Lim but I am happy that I will not be playing him. It’s not that I underestimate the other player, just good that I will be playing the other guy. I will try to get the first point.”