Uzbeks sweat it out; Istomin delays arrival

Uzbeks sweat it out; Istomin delays arrival

Uzbeks sweat it out; Istomin delays arrival

The Uzbekistan Davis Cup side began their preparations for their clash against India with an extensive training session at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association on Sunday.

While the hosts will be without Yuki Bhambri, Uzbekistan had to deal with a scare themselves as their top player Denis Istomin remained in his country to undergo a few tests on his foot.

The tests are thought to be just a precautionary measure and captain Petr Lebed expects to have his star player available at the earliest.

“He (Istomin) was supposed to travel with the team but the doctor suggested that he undergo some tests on his foot. We are awaiting his arrival and if all goes well, he will be in the city on Wednesday.”

Another player that could pose a big threat to the Indians is the experienced Farrukh Dustov, a Davis Cup regular. But having not played competitve tennis for over six months, there will be questions over his match fitness.

“Yes, he hasn’t played in a while but he’s been working very hard on his fitness and will be ready to play. Also, we have a lot of young players like (Sanjar) Fayziev stepping up for us and that gives us more confidence.”

Speaking about the tie, Lebed heaped praise on his opponents adding that home advantage will give them the edge.

“India is a very strong opponent, one of the top teams in Asia. They will have an advantage since it’s a home tie. We know a lot of players since they used to come to Uzbekistan and participate in tournaments; so it will be a tough match.”

Having travelled from Tashkent, where the temperatures hover around 15 degrees celsius, the visitors had to endure the smouldering Bengaluru heat. But Lebed said his players were coping well since their arrival on Saturday evening.

“Of course, the conditions are different here with the temperature and altitude but the players are doing good and adapting well to the conditions.

Dustov, Fayziev and reserve player Jurabek Karimov trained with the support staff, with Istomin and Temur Ismailov set to join the squad in the coming days.