'DLTA has decided not to sell tickets in order to encourage young tennis players to come and witness the world's leading players live.'
The captain may be loathe to the idea, but the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association defended the decision to slot the Davis Cup tie against Spain in the evening, saying the aim is to make the event more accessible to tennis fans and save Indian players from cramping.
India's captain Anand Amrtiraj had said that the country has lost home advantage by not hosting the tie in hot and humid conditions.
The DLTA, though, argued that the Indian players were troubled by heat during the Korea tie in Chandigarh and did not want a repeat.
“This (medical facilities) has been done especially keeping in mind that both Korean and Indian players started cramping in hot and humid conditions in Chandigarh in the last Davis Cup tie held in July against Korea.
"It was felt that hot and humid conditions can lead to cramping especially when players are playing five-set matches and it is important that highest level of medical attention should be made available at the venue," read a statement from the DLTA.
India's Saketh Myneni and Korea's Kyu Lim struggled to stand on court due to severe cramping in the Chandigarh tie in July, the former even skipping his reverse singles match on the final day.
The DLTA said it wanted fans to throng to the stadium to cheer the Indian players and also cited examples of the popular league International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) and Champions Tennis League (CTL) that host matches in the evening.
"Like other high-profile events, including Chennai Open, Champions Tennis League, organized by Mr Vijay Amritraj and IPTL organized by Globosports, DLTA has chosen to host the matches during evening time to make the event more accessible and friendly to the tennis loving people of Delhi so that the stadium is filled to capacity to cheer the Indian team."
The DLTA has also decided to allow free entry for the tie.
"Although Davis Cup ties do not generate any surplus because of high costs attached to the same in terms of organisational costs including minimum requirements as stipulated by ITF and players' fees and travelling expenses, it is a matter of great pride for DLTA to organize this prestigious Davis Cup tie," DLTA General Secretary Lt.Col Ranbir Chauhan was quoted as saying in the statement.
"DLTA has decided not to sell tickets in order to encourage young tennis players to come and witness the world's leading players live on the courts of DLTA."