Keeping in mind preference of the Indian players, the AITA is trying hard to find a suitable venue for the Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie against Spain but the monsoon season has almost scuttled the chances of hosting the tie on grass courts.
As per AITA sources, it seems that either Delhi (DLTA) or Chandigarh (CLTA) will be hosting the tie on hardcourt.
The Indian players want to play five-time champions Spain on grass as challenging them on either clay or hard courts will be suicidal.
South Club in Kolkata would have been an ideal choice but since it is monsoon season, it will be pouring at that time and chances of disruptions has ruled out the venue.
AITA Secretary General shared their frustration. “The players have expressed their choice to play on grass but the timing of the tie is coinciding with the monsoon season. Chandigarh was also touch and go. It could have become very difficult to complete the tie had it rained heavily on Saturday or Sunday,” said Oza.
Adding to the woes are stipulated ITF rules for World Group Play-off tie. A seating capacity of at least 4000 at the venue is required to be eligible for hosting the tie. Tennis facilities managed by DLTA (Delhi), KSLTA (Bengaluru), MSLTA (Pune) and CLTA (Chandigarh) meet the eligibility criteria but they have no grass courts. Also, it is very difficult for the state federations to arrange resources for hosting the tie in a short time. Without the help of state government, it will be a humongous task for any federation to manage the expenses since tennis does not attract much sponsorship from corporates. It has been learnt that Pune and Bengaluru have expressed inability to host the tie and most likely it will be either Delhi or Chandigarh that will host the tie on hard courts.
An official said the grass is ready at the Chandigarh Club and if they can maintain it for the next six weeks, the tie can be held there as well provided they can create required seating arrangements.
Chandigarh Club had arranged for makeshift stand with a capacity of 1200 people for the tie against Korea which India won 4-1. However, the chances are remote since it is difficult to host back-to-back ties for them.