Pressure Will be on Devvarman, Say Leander Paes

DUBAI - India’s tennis ace Leander Paes felt his team would face a tough task against Russia in the Davis Cup World Group tie. India will play Russia away in Moscow on March 5-7.

Published: Sun 28 Feb 2010, 12:32 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:56 AM

This will be India’s first appearance at the elite World Group stage after a gap of 11 years.

And Leander, who scripted India’s some of the most famous Davis Cup victories in the past, knows that the coming tie against the Russians would be very tough. “We go to play Davis Cup. But Russia’s a tough team, you know. I don’t know if (Nikolay) Davydenko is going to play or not,” said Leander after losing the doubles final of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Saturday.

“Even if he doesn’t play, it won’t matter really because they have so much depth in their team. They can play with anybody.

“They’ve got so many guys to choose from. So we have to be on our game.

“It’s wonderful to be in the world group, and I think we can do well. So we’ve just got to take it one day at a time.”

Leander says the pressure will be on Somdev Devvarman, India’s highest ranked singles player.

Somdev, after coming through the qualifiers, lost in the second round at the Dubai Championships to eventual semifinalist and 2006 Australian Open runner-up, Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus.

“Yes, I think Somdev’s improving every day. I’ve been following him closely. So, you know, he is doing very well.

“But the Russian tie will be a tough outing for him also. The Russians know that he’s the number one guy in singles. They’re really going to go after him. So he has to be ready for that. It’s going to be a very tough time for him.”

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