Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.

    SUBMIT

Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence

Disclaimer:

Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
Powered by cricketnext logo
»
3-min read

Davis Cup Win Last Year Helped Prajnesh Come of Age - Zeeshan Ali

Speaking on the sidelines of India's second practice session at the Calcutta Gymkhana here on Thursday, Ali pointed out that it was a career defining moment for India's biggest hope Prajnesh when he clinched the must-win rubber in Tianjin last year to help India win 3-2 and qualify for the World Group Play-offs.

IANS

Updated:January 24, 2019, 9:05 PM IST
facebookTwitterskypewhatsapp
Davis Cup Win Last Year Helped Prajnesh Come of Age - Zeeshan Ali
Speaking on the sidelines of India's second practice session at the Calcutta Gymkhana here on Thursday, Ali pointed out that it was a career defining moment for India's biggest hope Prajnesh when he clinched the must-win rubber in Tianjin last year to help India win 3-2 and qualify for the World Group Play-offs.
Loading...

Kolkata: India's No. 1 singles player Prajnesh Gunneswaran's win over Chinese teen sensation Yibing Wu in the fifth rubber of the Davis Cup second round Asia/Oceania Group I tie last April helped him come of age, feels India's Davis Cup coach Zeeshan Ali.

Speaking on the sidelines of India's second practice session at the Calcutta Gymkhana here on Thursday, Ali pointed out that it was a career defining moment for India's biggest hope Prajnesh when he clinched the must-win rubber in Tianjin last year to help India win 3-2 and qualify for the World Group Play-offs.

India will take on Italy in the Davis Cup World Group qualifier on February 1-2 at the South Club here.

"That was a changing point in his career. He had the belief in himself that he could win the fifth match and Mahesh (Bhupathi, non-playing captain) and I saw the fire in him. Hence we decided to let him play the fifth match," Ali told reporters.

"That match made him believe that he can go out and play under tough conditions. It's never easy for somebody who has never played a Davis Cup match before to perform when the score is 2-2 and you're playing the fifth rubber. That was his turning point from last April till now where he has made some amazing turnaround in his career.

"He is very close to being in top 100 of the world. Maybe another 2-3 tournaments and we will see him in top 100," he added.

Left-handed Prajnesh was preferred ahead of Sumit Nagal in the tie-deciding fifth rubber against the Chinese teen sensation Wu. And the Chennai boy did not disappoint as he delivered a 6-4, 6-2 win to seal the tie for India.

Prajnesh had come into the side after Yuki Bhambri pulled out due to an abdomen injury. The southpaw was fluent in his strokes and played a fearless brand of tennis, going for winners.

A late bloomer at 29, India will depend a lot on him and Ramkumar Ramanathan to deliver the goods in the singles ties.

"Having struggled earlier on in his career, he is 29 now and in a normal scenario it is the latter stage of a tennis player's career. But this is where he seems to have come and really bloomed as far as he is concerned," Ali said.

Since the Davis Cup win, Prajnesh qualified for the main draw of the Australian Open after beating World No. 192 Yosuke Watanuki in the final round of qualifying. He lost to USA's Frances Tiafoe in the first round.

Ali said the team's decision to come earlier than normal proved right as the players haven't played on grass since June last year and needed to acclimatise.

"Our players haven't played on grass for about six months, after Wimbledon last year. But having said that, Ramkumar last year reached the finals at Newport.

"So that was the idea of coming in early. It's one of the earliest we have come for a Davis Cup tie. We have come early to acclimatise and play on grass. Unlike any other surface, the more they practice on grass the more comfortable they will be.

"And I think we can see from the attitude of the players that it was a right decision to have come in earlier. They all believe they have a very good chance of winning this tie," the coach said.

Ramkumar, 23, finished runner-up in his first final on the ATP World Tour in Newport, Rhode Island, in June last year.

Asked about Italy, who have two players inside the top 50 -- Marco Cecchinato (18), Andreas Seppi (35) and would be favourites despite the absence of Fabio Fognini, Ali said rankings don't matter in Davis Cup ties and India has upset higher ranked opponents previously.

"If you compare the two teams, on paper they are better. In the past in Davis Cup rankings don't really matter. India has always been the underdog whenever we played in the World Group. But having said that, we reached the semi-final in 1992 and reached the final twice," he pointed out.

The Indian team was seen taking the help of Chennai-based Manish Kumar during practice and coach Ali explained it is done to help Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan focus on doubles.

He signed off by saying that the singles players will have two sessions from Friday to get more practice on grass.

| Edited by: Abhimanyu Sen
Read full article
Loading...
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch

facebookTwitterskypewhatsapp

Live TV

Loading...
Countdown To Elections Results
  • 01 d
  • 12 h
  • 38 m
  • 09 s
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results