New Delhi: The performance of Indian men at the All-England Championships at Wimbledon will be watched keenly by the All India Tennis Association (AITA), which is toying with the idea of playing the Davis Cup World Group Qualifying tie on grass courts if drawn to host it.
Though the draw for the Sept 16-18 World Group matches will be out July 12, AITA wants to make sure they have enough time to prepare courts in case the captain and the players go in for grass.
India's home ties in the past have mostly been on grass, but country's current No.1 Somdev Devvarman preferred the hard courts of Chennai for the last Davis Cup tie, against Brazil.
An AITA release Monday spoke of Somdev being a bit more comfortable now on grass.
"Somdev Devvarman has expressed that he is now a little more comfortable with grass, than before. The other members of the team Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna are traditionally more fond of grass, for Davis Cup ties at home," the release stated.
"India has had memorable victories over better-rated teams on grass at home ties.
"AITA will be keenly watching the performance of player on grass during Wimbledon with a view to selecting the surface and the venue for the next World Group Qualifying Davis Cup tie."
The AITA executive director (development) Ranbir Chauhan told IANS the decision on the surface will also depend on the team they draw for the tie.
"Grasscourts take time to prepare. If after the draws, we get a home tie against a team which is not very comfortable on grass, we might go for the surface. We have only two grasscourts in India -- in Kolkata and Chandigrah. But the one in Chandigarh needs tending more for a Davis Cup tie. So we want to prepare in advance," Chauhan told IANS.
The eight nations who lost in the first round of the World Group are India, Russia, Czech Republic, Romania, Chile, Belgium, Austria, Croatia. These countries in the World Group qualifying will play against the winners of the zonal ties, which will be played from July 8-10.