India coach Zeeshan Ali predicts tough challenge vs Italy

Vastavam web: Indians haven’t played on grass in more than six months and the hosts would find it difficult when they face Italy in next month’s Davis Cup Qualifiers at the South Club grasscourts, said coach Zeeshan Ali. Keeping in mind the weakness of the Italians on grass, India have opted for grasscourts in South Club for the February 1-2 fixtures which will be played in a new format in the transformed Davis Cup with the winners making a cut to the 18-nation finals in Madrid next year.

“It won’t be easy for our players also. We haven’t played in grass for a long time,” Ali said as the Indians led by non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi sweated it out for more than three hours at the Calcutta Gymkhana Club. They will also have Andreas Seppi (35) along with Matteo Berrettini (54), Thomas Fabbiano (102), doubles world number 88 Simone Bolelli. “They have other quality players as well so I don’t think not having Fognini will make a huge difference,” Ali said.