Bozoljac is Serbia's dark horse: Paes

Veteran Kolkatan confident of exploiting the home advantage

Bozoljac is Serbia's dark horse: Paes

Speaking ahead of the Davis Cup World Group Play-off against Serbia which starts on Friday, Leander Paes picked out Ilija Bozoljac as a dark horse.

“I think that Bozoljac is going to be a dark horse for them (Serbia),” he opined. “I tried to study a few videos of him on YouTube during the US Open and he came across as somebody who can be great but also a bit down,” Paes said during India’s pre-draw press conference here at the KSLTA on Wednesday.

Paes also spoke about the importance of playing at home in the Davis Cup.
“We are going to ride on our wave – the wave of playing in front of our crowd and in conditions that we are quite used to.” But Paes did concede that they were the underdogs. “We are the underdogs but if we win we go into the World Group and that should be our challenge.”

The City’s altitude – one of the main reasons why the Indians chose to play here – was again talked about in what has become a running theme ever since the two teams assembled.

But one problem which has been overlooked in the build-up to the tie has been the absence of outside courts, something that was brought up in the captains’ meeting between Anand Amritraj, skipper of the Indian side, and Bogdan Obradovic, Serbia’s captain.

“The only thing that was unusual about the captains meeting was both of us talked about the absence of practice courts.

“What that means is that the player who plays the second match on the first day will have to practice very early and then wait for a period of time where he cannot practice till he gets on court to start his match.”

Rohan Bopanna, who missed the opportunity to play in front of his home crowd against Indonesia last year because of a rift between AITA and a couple of players, said he was looking forward to the experience.

“While I live close by, I have never really played here,” he noted.

“I think the last time I played was a Challenger in 2001 and so I am looking forward to it  very much.”

The draw, which will take place on Thursday morning, will decide who faces who in the singles rubbers on the opening day.

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