India vs Spain Davis Cup tie in New Delhi: The Leander Paes led India faces the strong Spanish team on home ground today in a totally one-sided tennis contest. The Spanish Davis Cup team, they are 5-time champions, have the iconic Rafael Nadal, one of the most successful tennis players ever, in their midst. Considering that a place in the elite World Group is at stake, they have also fielded David Ferrer. India, on the other hand, do not have even one player in top 100 tennis rankings, whether it is singles or doubles. The match will be played in the evening, at the DLTA.
Facing these Spanish giants in the singles will be India’s Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan. They have played just 5 times in the Davis Cup. To put things in perspective for the Indian team, just check out the rankings of the Spaniards – Rafael Nadal (World No. 4), David Ferrer (World No. 13), Feliciano Lopez (World No. 26) and Marc Lopez (World No. 15 in doubles).
While most of the Indian team is made up of beginners, it has the benefit of tennis legend Leander Paes, who has played as many as 53 Davis Cup ties for India. His ability to draw the best out of his young team will be crucial. While most sporting analysts are saying it will be more or less a walkover for the Spaniards, it remains to be seen whether Indians have done their home work to push the visitors as much as possible, after all they do have the crucial home advantage.
Having played for so long and so often for India, Leader Paes breaks records as soon as he even steps onto the turf. This time is no different. In fact, Paes is set to create history as he stands just one match short of turning into the most successful doubles players in Davis Cup history. But it will require a superhuman effort by him to do so. The record that he can make his alone is at the moment being shared with Italian Nicola Pietrangeli at 42 doubles wins. Unfortunately, his doubles partner is a weakness in the absence of Rohan Bopanna. Now, most probably Paes will partner Myneni.
Even with some of the best players in the world, Spain have been struggling in the Davis Cup this time and that is why they have come to India all guns blazing. They lost the World Group first round to Germany in January 2014, lost 1-3 to Brazil and 2-3 to Russia.
As far as history is concerned, way back in 1965 when both met in a Davis Cup match, Spain beat India 3-2 and if you go back as far as 1927, India had beaten Spain. The overall record is in favour of Spain 2-1.