Davis Cup 2018 - India

This is a forum where users can follow various tournaments that have Indian participation or are held in India. GrandSlams and Davis Cup should also be discussed here.

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Prashant
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Re: Davis Cup 2017 - India

Post by Prashant » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:10 am

S_K_S wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:09 pm
Why are you guys so convinced that Divij/Purav are the answer? To win a world group playoff Davis Cup, pairs need to be winning ATP tournaments. As a pair their ATP tournament win record is very poor.
Completely agree. Yet another reason why we shouldn't bother with a doubles pair at all. I really hope Saketh is fit for the next tie & they can play RamK/Saketh/Yuki/someone else.

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Re: Davis Cup 2017 - India

Post by PKBasu » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:13 am

DiPu have won two ATP tour doubles titles. As a pair, that's the best we have. Of course, I would prefer to pair one of the singles players with our doubles legend Leander (now, not sure about six months from now) or perhaps Bopanna. Yuki is an excellent doubles player, and so is Saketh; the only question with both is fitness!!

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Re: Davis Cup 2017 - India

Post by Atithee » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:59 am

I would rather have Rohan play singles for India in Davis Cup. He is a good singles player. My team:

Rohan, Ramkumar, Yuki for four singles with RK playing two. And pair either Yuki or Rohan with anyone for doubles. For the next 1-2 years, that anyone must be Leander, but it's unlikely to happen. I don't believe in specialist doubles team for Davis Cup.

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Re: Davis Cup 2017 - India

Post by sameerph » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:13 am

At the Asia Oceania level at least no need to have 2 doubles specialists. A pair with 1 doubles specialist ( Rohan or Leander) and 1 player who can double up as third singles player would be good enough to beat a Chinese pair. As of now, I would still select Rohan ( based on his much higher ranking than others) and play him on ad court. Would be really good if Saketh can get fully match fit and form by then. Then, my team would be RamK, Yuki, Saketh and Rohan.

Of course, it is more than 6 months away. So, lot of things can change in terms of form and fitness.

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Re: Davis Cup 2017 - India

Post by Varma » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:15 am

Atithee,

Rohan was a decent singles player when he was in prime, but at this moment he is not fit enough to play even a best of 3-sets singles match. I see the merit your arguments as well as Prashanth's. If Yuki is as fit as he was last Friday, and assuming Saketh at least gets to similar fitness levels, I would pick RamK, Yuki, Saketh, and Leander. RamK will play both singles, with Yuki and Saki splitting the remaining two singles. One of Yuki/Saki will partner Lee for doubles.

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Re: Davis Cup 2017 - India

Post by Atithee » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:22 am

Varma, I'm curious. What's your basis for saying that Rohan isn't match fit for singles? Every Indian player bar Ramkumar has proven to be unfit. Is Rohan really worse than Saketh, Yuki, Jeevan, etc.? I don't think so. I'll rather gamble on him than any of the alternatives. That he can play doubles is always a bonus.

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Re: Davis Cup 2017 - India

Post by Varma » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:40 am

I saw one of his matches from court side at Indian Wells recently (not really sure if it was this year or last). I almost died looking at the flab on his tummy :p. In fact I took close-up picture of it too, thinking I would post here. Somehow I felt uncomfortable doing so. :D

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Re: Davis Cup 2017 - India

Post by Atithee » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:44 am

Yes, I remember your post regarding this. Well, how did he fare on the court? Regardless, I'm sticking to my choice, flab or no flab.

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Re: Davis Cup 2017 - India

Post by Varma » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:07 am

To me, using doubles match fitness to extrapolate performance in a best of 5-sets singles match is not even an option. The main reason I am not a big fan of Rohan in the team is, he never looks like he is charge of them team (even on his regular tour matches with whoever he partners). His higher ranking (even his career best) is more based on consistency (more in the lines of Halep and Wozniacki) than any earth-shattering performances. If he did so partnering an Indian, I would have certainly picked them as a team. In a nut shell, he doesn't add much value to our DC squad. Just for records, I do not dislike him as a player, nor am I a member of "I hate Rohan" club. My "picking on him" and not "picking him" has no prejudice or personal bias :D .

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Atithee
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Re: Davis Cup 2017 - India

Post by Atithee » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:14 am

Fair enough Varma. Sadly, I think the next rung of our singles players is so low (or frequently injured) that even an unfit Rohan could still be better than any of them. At least he's standing on the court across the net. But, I'm equally happy to have a Saki in his place.

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Re: Davis Cup 2017 - India

Post by sameerph » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:50 am

Why are you so keen on picking Rohan for singles, Atithee ? Even in his best form, he was not ranked in top 200 and his best results were on grass. We are not going to play on grass against China. With his current fitness levels, Saketh, even Sumit, Balaji, Vishnu etc, would be better in singles.

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Re: Davis Cup 2017 - India

Post by jayakris » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:13 pm

Prashant wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:54 pm
I disagree with Jay's notion that a good doubles player can't just pair up with someone and win a match - the good doubles players from most other countries don't seem to have trouble with this at all. Maybe it is just MB/LP/RB who do. But, I think two doubles specialists puts us at a reasonably high risk of having to field one of them in a singles rubber on day 3.
You misread what I said. It does work if you have a top-25 caliber doubles player playing with a top-100 caliber singles player. That is why I said if we are playing a top-10caliber Davis Cup team, our having just a decent regular pair wouldn't do, and we have to roll the dice with the best doubles player you have and hope/pray that whoever walks in with him just brings out his best. But against the lesser teams, it is better to not take a chance, but to send in a regularly playing pair because they will almost invariably do the job (while a walk-in-and-play pair may actually struggle, and we have seen that enough times with LP, MB, and Bops playing with the others).

The third day singles issue is not that huge if we have won the doubles tie. So, if we are playing China, just make sure that Purav-Divij secures the tie. But let us say Saketh is healthy, and we send him in with Bops. Bops-Saketh who walk in to play has a higher chance to screw it up. But if we are playing a top team with a very strong pair of a top doubles specialist and a top-50 singles guy, I would say there is a higher chance for a Bops-Saketh to have stars align and pull an upset (say 25%) than say Purav-Divij who may only have 5 or 10% chance to win it. The question is on where the "ceiling" is, for the players' abilities. The other team's players do play at a higher level of effort and focus in DC doubles than in normal pro events., so if it is against a top team, we have to send in players with a higher ceiling in their abilities, and hope for something to happen.

So, it depends on the situation and opponents. Against some lower teams, a double pair just ensuring a win is much more than enough, and even one healthy singles player will do, to win the tie. Against some top teams with strong walk-in pairs (or a top-20 doubles team), we may also need to send in a walk-in pair, but then we must do some planning and get our pair to play together at least an event or two. That last part is what we have consistently not done, and it has never worked for us.

But my main point remains that we need to strategize better to win the doubles match, rather than worry too much about the 3rd day and keeping everybody fresh to win 3 of the 4 singles matches, which is not going to happen against almost any team we will play in a world group playoff tie. If we lose the doubles tie, we will never be better than 1-2 after the second day and hoping to win 2 in the final day is futile. See how many times in a row have we failed at WG playoff ties now. At some point we have to learn and do something about WINNING the doubles tie. I didn't see LP taking steps on this as captain. Not Anand Amritraj, and I don't see MB doing that now either. If we do not address the doubles issue, we are not going to EVER make the world group.

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Re: Davis Cup 2017 - India

Post by jayakris » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:32 pm

Prashant wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:10 am
S_K_S wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:09 pm
Why are you guys so convinced that Divij/Purav are the answer? To win a world group playoff Davis Cup, pairs need to be winning ATP tournaments. As a pair their ATP tournament win record is very poor.
Completely agree. Yet another reason why we shouldn't bother with a doubles pair at all. I really hope Saketh is fit for the next tie & they can play RamK/Saketh/Yuki/someone else.
Precisely the conclusion that I object to, as I said in the post above. Your thinking on doubles team's quality and "winnability" are correct and I think the same way too, but your "give-up" conclusion on the doubles match is totally unnecessary. That is the conclusion that all our recent DC captains have had too.

Let us assume for a moment that Saketh was healthy and had been playing decent singles for 2-3 months before the Canada tie. None of us would have objected to a Yuki, RamK, Bops, Saketh team. I would have said Bops and Saketh would have had a 40% chance to beat Nestor-and-whoever. Divij-Purav would have had only a 20% chance. But our thinking has been to give up on the doubles tie. Otherwise, our captain could use his influence (MB does have that with Bops and Saketh) and force them to play even one good event together somewhere, even in challengers, and their chance to upset Nestor-whoever would go up to 65%. But I can bet money that MB (just like LP or Anand before him) would not have done that, and would have expected Bops walking in with Saketh after 3 days of doubles practice to be good enough. They would've lost the match, and we would've lost the tie the same way as we just did. Had Bops-Saki played together in a few matches that mattered, it would be different. There lies the problem. LP did this when he was young and was nurturing MB (with the blessings of Naresh Kumar, maybe our best DC captain ever), and we went all the way to the WG semis, with just one top-100 quality singles player.

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Re: Davis Cup 2017 - India

Post by prasen9 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:35 pm

S_K_S wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:09 pm
Why are you guys so convinced that Divij/Purav are the answer? To win a world group playoff Davis Cup, pairs need to be winning ATP tournaments. As a pair their ATP tournament win record is very poor.
I was commenting only for the China match. For a world group playoff, depending upon the opponent, of course, there may be times when choosing Rohan-Saketh may be the answer (as Jay pointed out above).

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Re: Davis Cup 2017 - India

Post by jayakris » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:57 pm

By the way, everything I said above applies to having LP in the team instead of Bops, too. So, even if the MB-LP politics didn't exist, we would be in the same situation. LP is probably still better than Bops in DC doubles, but the chances of anybody playing with him and upsetting a top team is not significantly better than when it is Bops instead of him. So, in my view, the LP-MB politics is not affecting us as much as some may think. But the attitude towards preparing to win the doubles match, does affect us, and it has continued to affect us in Davis Cup. The same attitude of neglecting the importance of doubles players playing enough together to prepare has cost us multiple medals at Olympics too.

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