New Delhi:The hard court of Chennai's Nungambakkam Tennis Centre will host the Davis Cup tie between India and Australia in May, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) said on Tuesday.
The Asia-Oceania Group I third-round tie, which will see the winner advance to the play-offs for the elite World Group, will be held from May 8-10.
The AITA decided to give away its long tradition of hosting the home ties on grass for the first time in 30 years to help India's number one player Somdev Devvarman, who reached the ATP Chennai Open final at the same venue in January.
"The non-playing captain informed us that the players are very keen to play the tie in Chennai especially because of the performance of Somdev Devvarman in Chennai Open in January," AITA Secretary Anil Khanna said.
"The court in Chennai not only helps Somdev, but the other players in the squad are also familiar with the surface as they have all played there during the Chennai Open," he added.
India will have their task cut out against a formidable Australian side which is field Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione in the singles.
Australia, who won the last of their 28 Davis Cup titles in 2003, were forced to play in the Asia-Oceania zone after losing to Chile 3-2 in the World Group play-offs last year.
Earlier this month, Australia defeated Thailand 3-2 and India prevailed over Taiwan by a similar margin to set up the clash.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of AITA, Ranbir Chauhan is expected to visit Chennai on Wednesday to hold meetings with officials of the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA), police authorities, hotel and a security company for the smooth conduct of the tie.
India will retain the same team which played against Chinese Taipei for the Australia tie.
The winner of the encounter between the two nations will move to the World Group play-off.