Young guns take aim


Sports, Tennis

Yuki, Ram face tough task to try and tame hosts.

France’s Nicolas Mahut (from left), Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Lucas Pouille, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and captain Yannick Noah, Serbians Nenad Zimonjic, Dusan Lajovic, Laslo Djere and Filip Krajinovic pose on Thursday ahead of their Davis Cup World Group semi-final against Serbia in Lille, France. (Photo: AFP)

Edmonton: India will expect Yuki Bhambri and Ramkumar Ramanathan to repeat their recent giant-killing acts against a completely transformed Denis Shapovalov when the team take on Canada in their fourth straight attempt to qualify for the Davis Cup World Group, here from Friday.

Shapovalov made the world take note of him with his shock win over Rafael Nadal at the Montreal Masters. He then became the youngest player to reach the fourth round of the US Open, only his second Grand Slam.

The 18-year-old and world number 51 Shapovalov also scalped Juan Martin del Potro and Jo Wilfred Tsonga in his astonishing rise in world tennis in the last few months.

On the other side, India have their hopes hung on the shoulders of Yuki and Ramkumar, who too created a splash by knocking down Gael Monfils and tennis’ latest hot property Dominic Thiem, recently.

Of late, both Yuki and Ramkumar have shown encouraging results and thus instill hope that they are capable of pulling off a win over Shapovalov.

Tackling Vasek Pospisil, the other singles player named by Canada, should not be a big problem as he is coming into the tie after five straight loses on the ATP Tour.

Rohan Bopanna and Saketh Myneni make a formidable doubles pair. On the other side of the net would be the seasoned Daniel Nestor and Pospisil or Bradley Schnur, who is yet to play his debut Davis Cup match.